How to use ClothFX, HardFX, FX_Hardlink, FX Collision (The basics)

June 28, 2007 11:39 pm

Four Tutorial Tips in One:

How to use ClothFX, HardFX, FX_Hardlink, and FX Collision (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 we are going to be using in this lesson.


  1. Open up Lightwave Modeler and in the first layer create a sphere (Create tab/Ball). Press "n" on your keyboard to open up the numeric window as shown in "Picture1" and put in the settings shown below:

Sides: 20

Segments: 10

Center X:0m



Radius X:1m



Now hit Enter on your keyboard.

  1. Now we are going to create a chain. Go to the second layer and while still having the first mesh (which is the sphere ball) showing in the background, create a new mesh. Mirror it and merge the end points as shown in "Picture2."







  1. Now copy ("ctrl C") the mesh you just created and then paste ("ctrl V") the object until you get a similar look as shown in "Picture3."







  1. As shown in "Picture4" create a box (Create tab/Box) in the third layer. Press "n" on your keyboard to open up the numeric window again and put in these settings:

Width: 1m

Height: 500mm

Depth: 1m

Center X: 0m

           Y: 6.4m

            Z: 0m

Leave everything else in the bottom half of the numeric tool as it is and hit Enter on your keyboard.

  1. Now go back to the first layer and select the sphere. Below in your modeler window you should see a tab called "surface." Click it and name the surface "ball." Make sure smoothing is checked and press Enter. Look at "Picture5" to make sure everything is correct.







  1. Follow the same steps as I said to you before in the above paragraph for the second and third layers. Look at "Picture6" and "Picture7" for a reference.
















  1. After you finish giving the meshes surfaces copy and paste the second and third layer into the first layer. "Picture8" should show a red mark on the layer specified.








  1. Ok, now we are going to create a poly chain. Select the second layer again and create a polygon with 19 points. To do this you will need to select (Create tab/Box) and using the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard, press them until you get a polygon that is divided up into 18 polygons. Once you do that, hit Enter and then select points on one side and press delete. Your poly chain should look just like what is shown in "Picture9."






  1. As shown in "Picture10," select the first polygon on top and give it a surface name called "Chain fixed" and then hit Enter.








  1. Do the same thing as I said in the above sentence for the polygon chains that do not have a surface name. Look at "Picture11" for a reference.







  1. As shown in "Picture12," select both layers and move them down vertically until only the box slightly shows above the ground. Once you do that save it as "Ball and Chain.lwo" and then close and reopen modeler.







  1. Time to make a breakable wall: create a polygon plane and using the "knife" tool cut it up until you get something similar to what is shown in "Picture13." After you finish that, go to the "Detail" tab and click on "Unweld" on the left hand side of the menu.







  1. Next we want to extrude the object mesh. To do this, hit the "Multiply" tab and then "Extrude" on the left hand side. Look at "Picture14" for a reference.







  1. Select the whole mesh and give it a surface name called "wall." Make sure the smoothing tab is unchecked. Look at "Picture15" for a visual. Save it and call it "Stone Wall" and then close modeler and open layout.







  1. Open up the file you saved called "Ball and Chain.lwo." Select all objects in the scene and move them up on the Y axis 7m. Now press on the left hand side of the layout menu "object layer" and open the file called "Stone wall.lwo." Press "r" on your keyboard and rotate on "H" axis 45.90 degrees. Check "Picture16" to make sure everything is right.






  1. Highlight "Ball and chain: layer1" and open up the "motion options" tab. Parent that layer to "Ball and chain: layer2" as shown in "Picture17." While still having that object highlighted, click the "Properties" button and in the window that just opened click on the "Deform" tab. Down below where it says "add displacement" click it and select "FX_hardlink" like shown in "Picture18."














  1. Next go to the "Dynamics tab", click on "Add Dynamic" and select "FX Collision." Change the friction power to 20.0 and the fix power to 4.0. Also change roughness to 0.2% as shown in "Picture19."






  1. Ok now that we have finished the settings on that layer, go to "Ball and chain: layer2" and turn on "ClothFX." follow these settings:

First click on "Etc" tab and change the gravity on the Y axis to -7. Turn preset on to "cotton (thick)." Go to the "Advance" tab and change the stretch limit to 0.001. Now go back to the "Basic" tab and change viscosity to 30.0. Check "Picture20" for comparisons.

  1. Now highlight the "Stone wall" object layer. Go to the dynamics tab again and select "HardFX." Input these settings:

Adv. Resistance: check it on

Size effect: check them both on

Weight: 200

Gravity: -7

Now hit the "Rotation" tab and check on size effect. Also check on collide. Change the torque min: 50%. Now click on the "Collision" tab and both "Stop by stabilizer" and "start by collision" is checked on and below that change "Self interaction" to box. Check "Picture21" for comparisons.







  1. Now we are going to create a collision floor. On the left hand side of the layout window, click on the "Dynamic Obj" button and name it "floor," then select collision and hit Enter. Copy these settings below and look at "Picture22" to compare:

Friction power: 15

Fix power: 0.5

Roughness: 0.2





Okay, all you have to do now is change the key frame timeline limit to 200 frames and select "Ball and chain: layer 2." While that layer is highlighted, click on frame 30 and animate that object going through the wall. Once you finish open up the "Properties" button and then go to the "Dynamics" tab and hit the "calculate" button. Your animation should look similar to "Picture23."

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

Four Tutorial Tips in One has been brought to you by newhere on Renderosity.



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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.

July 23, 2007

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Article Comments

SPACEY ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 29 July 2007

I do like this tutorial, it's very clearly written and to the point. One thing though, maybe the ball should swing instead of being dragged through the wall. Just a suggestion...Thanks for the info!

newhere ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 30 July 2007

Thanks for all who replied on my tutorial and i hope that it helps with any projects you have. If you want to have more control on the ball swinging, all you would have to do is: instead of using Cloth_FX on the "ball and chain" object, just turn off that plugin and go into modeler and make bones to replace the same layer as the poly chain in the same position. Then go into layout and rig it using IK. that way you would have total control over where the "ball and chain" moves rather than the Cloth_FX plugin. ~Newhere~

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