LightWave 3D: Creating Hair

LightWave 3D is a powerful 3D system specialized in modeling, rendering and animation effects. It has a unique user-friendly interface, which makes it easy to use for both professionals and beginners. It is a great solution for creating 3D special effects on your video projects.

Step 1: Using LightWave 3D

Using LightWave 3D is easy. You should start by installing your software onto your PC or Mac. After that, launch your program and open your project. You will have 4 windows, each showing different perspectives of your object or in this case, face. Check to see if you have the Tools Menu on your left, along with Elements and Objects buttons. Check also to see if you have your pages on top, such as Create, Modify, Multiply, Construct, Detail, Map and Display. If you have them all, then you are ready to go.

Step 2: Object and Tools

Creating hair using LightWave 3D is an easy task. Now check to see if the object or head on which you will work is displayed in the following ways:

  • in the first window, Top - this allows you to see the top of the head
  • in the second window, Back - you can see the back of the head
  • in the third window, Right - this is the window in which you will work
  • the Perspective window, where you can preview your work in real-time

Choose a painting tool which you will be using when drawing the hair in your 3D project. Check to see if the scalp is divided into small square parts. By dividing it, you will be able to have more control over details. In your Perspective window, you can use the Magnifying Tool to zoom in and out or the Rotating Tool to rotate perspective.

Step 3: Creating hair

Use LightWave 3D options to select a part of the scalp. Go to Right window and select an area of the scalp on which you will create the hair. You will see in your Perspective window that the area selected is filled. You need to press “K” from your keyboard in order to make the filled area disappear and leave only the points on which you will apply hair samples. Click Shift+J to open Jitter option and select Gaussian Type, Radius X, Y and Z 10cm. Now you are ready to run the Points to Polygons plug-in, leaving single-point polygons to the object’s head.

Now, copy them and rename them. A Change Surface window will make it easier; you just have to type in the Name, check the Set Initial Color box and click OK. The first layer will be head, the second will contain the single polygons, the third the hair, and the forth the final touches. Use the Spline Draw option to draw splines. Then, swap layers by using the apostrophe key. Use the Multiply tool to multiply splines. Use the Path Extrude and Real Extrude tools to create the hair base. Repeat the procedure, add more splines and do some final retouches.

LightWave 3D is an easy to use application, and it is both Windows and Mac compatible.