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Modeling your first Anime Robot in 3d, part 2/4

By Gianluca Panebianco, Publishing date: 11 April 2007, Last update: 11 April 2007

2. Lightwave 3d Layout: hierarchy setup and the Schematic Panel.

On Modeler, click the icon on the top-right of the screen, next to the layer selector, then click on "Send object to Layout". In this way Lightwave Layout will be automatically open and your model loaded.


2.1.
In this section of the tutorial we set the objects hierarchy so each part of our Robot will be connected to another; at the end of this process we'll rotate each object to set in pose our Robot in 3d.
First of all, we have to complete with loading of all object we need, adding a background object. You can load it directly from one of these two links:

3d-model-background.lwo

Into Layout, select Load Object (Ctrl+o) and select the object now loaded.
In fig. 15 you can see a layout screenshot with all objects: our robot and the background.

Add a Null Object (Ctrl+n) and name it as "null_Robot".

2.2.
Now we can start to set our hierarchy chain.
As a first introduction to Character Animation, we introduce the use of Schematic Panel, accessible with key "7".
If you still haven't modified any Lightwave Layout visualization settings, you can see each 3d object are reresented as a cyan rectangle, camera with a green rectangle and the light with one purple.
Schematic Panel is really useful to select objects to move/rotate during an animation setup.
However, each items in this panel - to be really useful - must be moved from their default position... now we need to move each 3d object (forget camera and lights by now) to give them an humanoid shape... so let's start moving the two thighs: we need to move them down to the pelvis. The left tigh on the left, the right tight on the right of the pelvis.
Leave some space between each 3d object.
Now proceed with legs: move the left leg below the left thig, and the right leg below the right tigh. Do the same for both foots 3d objects.
In fig. 16 you can see a screenshot after these operations.

IMPORTANT: moving object into this Schematic View, 3d objects are not moved on the Layout 3d space on your scene; so if you return on previous view (for example "perspective view" by pressing key # 4), you can see each object in th same position as showed in fig. 15.

2.3.
Now back into Schematic View (key 7), and continue placing 3d objects.
Select the waist and move it above the pelvis;
then select the chest and move it above the waist;
continue by placing the neck above the chest and finally the head above the neck.

Now we have to move the arms: move shoulders next to the chest, and be the same for the arms and the hands.

At least, move null_robot in the middle of the foots..

In fig. 17 you have a screenshot at the end of these operations.

2.4.
However, we have not finished, because we still have to set the hierarchy chain.
In the next step we define each link between two object: these links will be represented into Schematic View as cyan arrows.

To set a correct hierarchy chain, we have to select the child object, then its parent.
An object "child" is an object depending from its parent; an example for this relation is a leg-foot chain: the foot (child) depends from its parent, the leg.
This is in FK, forward kinematics setup, as we are setting our robot.

So, let's proceed by selecting the left foot (l_foot) and, by leave pressed CTRL key, select its parent: the left leg (l_leg object); now we can have up our finger from CTRL. Continue by selecting left leg (l_leg), press CTRL, and select l_thigh object. Complete this first sub-chain connenting left leg (l_leg) with left tigh (l_tigh) and finally l_thigh with pelvis.

In fig. 18 you can see the result: look the direction of the arrows!
Now do the same for the right side, linkg r_foot with r_leg, r_leg with r_thigh and r_thigh with pelvis.

Continue with the arms, starting connecting the left side hierarchy:
connect l_hand with l_arm, l_arm with l_shoulder, and l_shoulder to the chest.
Do the same for the right-side: connecting r_hand, r_arm, r_shoulder e di nuovo chest in this order.

In fig. 19 you can see the Schematic View now... your Robot setup is almost finished.

Now select the head and connect it to the neck, then connect the neck to the chest.
Complete your 3d Robot setup connecting the chest with the waist and this one with the pelvis. As last step: connect the waist to the null object (null_robot).

We have completed our first 3d Robot setup.

In fig. 20 you can see the result into the Schematic View.

Now we are ready for scene setup and set in pose our robot, before to start with some renderings...

Modeling your first Anime Robot in 3d
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