Using a Creature Kit in LightWave

NewTek Lightwave 3D allows animators and developers to create realistic 3D animations, which can be used in nearly any type of medium, including films, animations, video games and print. A new feature of this system is free creature kit downloads that have been created by renown creature artists. And, best of all, these kits are free to download, and they come with everything needed to make the featured creature.

What’s Included

The creature in the creature kit does not actually mean “monster”. While these are surely included, the kit also can be used to see how to make aliens, Neanderthal and the like. It just depends on what free creature download is currently being offered.

Each creature kit from Lightwave comes with a rendered creature that was generated using Lightwave components and an artist biography. For example, the first creature was a mutant made by artist Luis Santos.

Besides the creature itself, the kit will explain how the monster was made, and it will include the image maps for everything from the cavity to the color and reflection to the displacement. Further, the kit will also provide a background for the monster, which is comprised of an HDR (high dynamic range) image. Within this background image is the map for the lighting, camera angle and how the render was done.

Each kit will also come with screenshots of how the model was made. Besides the instructions, this will also help the user visualize how the creature was made and help them when they start generating their own being.

How to Use the Kit

While the kits do provide users with everything that they need to add the creature to their product, that is not really the point of the kit. The kit is actually a learning tool, which is why the artist provides step-by-step instructions on how she created the figure.

The goal of the kit is to follow the steps used in making the creature, including the image mapping, background settings and rendering tricks, which will help users to create their own monster.

Creature Kit Audience

The main audience for the creature kit is people new to the animation world or those that know something about animation, but wish to better hone their skills. The instructions contained within the kit will help users learn how to make and animate monsters of their own, not so much to just copy and paste the free creature into their work.

Using the Created Monster

Once the steps have been followed, and the user has figured out how to create their own monster, it is time to use that monster in for something. Generally, these types of creatures are found in science fiction or horror films, but some animated feature films, shorts or series will also use creatures and monsters as their heroines.

An example of this would be Monsters, Inc. or Monsters vs. Aliens. Also, Chewbacca in Star Wars is technically a creature. So, the applications for the “creature” can be quite varied and can reach as far as the imagination.