Rendering with LightWave Layout

LightWave is a computer graphics program that can run on Mac OS X and Windows. In particular, this is used to render static and animated 3D images. Animation uses dynamics, particle systems, character animation and forward and reverse kinematics. There are two different ways to render images: using the Layout or Modeler. Each of these programs within LightWave can take care of specific tasks.

Layout

Within layout, it is possible to use output parameters, global illumination, multithreading and ray tracing in order to render images. This is a very easy interface for efficient animation and workflow. When it first opens, a single viewport will open but multiple viewpoints can be used. This is important as the image will render depending on what view is open. This viewport is important, as it will provide a visual for the virtual images you are creating.

Layout Menu

The menu for the layout program will contain all the different tools within the tool bar. The different names will contain commands that relate to what actions each will perform. There are other commands that have nouns as names as these refer to the different objects that will be affected. The tool bar is on the side, and all buttons present will depend on which menu group is selected. All the toolbars can be hidden or displayed depending on the users preferences.

Rendering

The rendering used in the layout uses BSP algorithms. This is a much more efficient and robust way to render very large scenes. It is easy to render very large rendering schemes, scenes that are typically found in motion picture effects. The rending interface has a render globals panel that contains all the parameters that are related to rendering. There is a camera system of which each camera can have its own rendering settings. There are also several different camera types that can be used with rendering. The amount of advanced cameras is unparalleled with other comparable programs.

Scenes

In particular, the layout program is specifically used to complete scenes. All the different objects are loaded and then placed into the scenes. All of the objects that can be loaded include animations, cameras, lights and more. The scene can be created and loaded in many different ways. All the items within the scene can be deformed using displacement mapping, lights and different edges. Different shadows can be used.

Light

There is full light control within the LightWave program. Each scene must have a minimum of 1 light source. There are 5 different types of light that include area light, linear light, spot light, point light and distance light. The intensity and color of the light can all be set, and there are also volumetric effects. This creates a realistic looking light as particles in the air can be illuminated. The radiosity feature lets light bounce off all the different material and objects which is how it behaves in real life. It can take a little longer to render with radiosity though it is perfect for realism.

Editors

Layout has an image editor, surface editor, graph editor and scene editor. These allow for more control over the different parts of the scene and can be help achieve high quality renders.