Let's suppose you want to model a complex set of 3D objects in LightWave for import into WCS. With a little forethought and planning you can save yourself a lot of trouble later on.
What do I mean by complex? Consider a small medieval town nestled in the the hills overlooking a harbor. The town will have a surrounding wall with gates and towers, a few hundred buildings, and a wharf. The point count will require at least 10 separate objects.
A possible solution is to composite the scene in LightWave. Unfortunately, the WCS project has hundreds of vectors which would have to be removed to prevent WCSNull confusion in LW. Since the town appears in many scenes, this would require creating duplicate projects that will add to the complexity of the task. Importing the LW objects into WCS seems like a workable solution.
Here's how we'll approach the task.
· Place a WCS planimetric camera over the
area we're going to build on and render a DEM.
WCS DEM to LWO
Here's yet another place where WCS' ability to render elevation files comes in handy. You may want to refresh your memory with the tutorial before continuing. As always, perfect your technique with a small practice project before tackling a big one.
Perspective preview render of the hill we're going to build on.
1. Create a planimetric camera over the area you're going to build on. Note the view width for later reference. The plan camera lat/lon position (Camera Editor) is the origin of our soon to be built LWOs.
3. Create a new project with the new DEM we just created. This will allow us to export just the DEM as a LWO.
4. Export a LightWave scene, DEM only. This will turn the DEM into a LW object.
LightWave Construction on DEM Reference
We'll use the DEM exported from WCS as a template to build our LW objects on. This will ensure our modeled objects match the WCS terrain when we import them as 3D Objects.
5. Open the DEM LWO in Modeler.
6. Load the rendered IFF as a background image. Set the Width to match the WCS planimetric camera View Width. Set the Pixel Aspect to match the WCS Render Options Pixel Aspect used to render the image. With any luck the background will match the terrain object after it's centered.
7. The terrain has its SW corner at the origin. Center X and Z to center the terrain. Do not center along the Y axis. The low and high Y values should match the WCS elevations you started with.
LightWave top view before terrain XZ centering
8. Build your objects, save, and copy them to to your WCS > Components > 3DObject folder. To keep things simple, I just made a wall.
WCS Vectors to Match LWO Center
The LW objects were built with an origin at the center of the rendered DEM and an elevation of 0 meters. That LWO center coincides with the WCS planimetric camera center (lat/lon) used to create the DEM. We'll use that information to correctly position the LWO objects on the actual WCS terrain.
9. In WCS, create a point style vector. It doesn't matter where you put it because we're going to change its location manually.
10. Open the Vector Editor and planimetric Camera Editor.
11. Go to the Camera Editor Position & Orientation page, double-click the Latitude value, and Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard (Mac users-do your equivalent copy thing).
12. Go to the Vector Editor, double-click the Y (Lat N-S) value, and Ctrl-V to copy the planimetric camera latitude from the clipboard. Repeat these 2 steps to copy the longitude.
13. Enter an elevation of 0 into the Vector Editor since that was the LW Y center value.
14. Use the button to add as many copies of the vector as LW objects you're going to import.
15. Add the first LW object and make its elevation Relative to Vector Elev. Why? Remember that the vector we just created was positioned to match the LWO origin. The 3D Object-LWO elevation must be the same (or 0) relative to that elevation.
16. Drag the vector from the lower S@G and drop it on the corresponding 3D Object in the upper S@G window. A preview render should show the 3D Object right where it should be.
Preview render showing wall correctly positioned
Preview render detail