LightWave 2018

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Using LightWave’s Vertex Map feature, all of your morph targets can be wrapped up neatly into a single object, with point-offset information. This type of object is called an Endomorph and the targets are referred to as Morph Maps.

Another advantage of Endomorphs is that a morphed pose can be a mixture of multiple targets. With normal object morphing, discussed previously, you are limited to the morphed states between the beginning and target objects only.

What’s more, animating an Endomorph is simple because you just keyframe your poses using the Morph Mixer Displacement plugin.

Morph Mixer: Morph List

The Morph List will display all of the Endomorphs that have been created for the object. If no groups were created in Modeler they will all appear in one group. To have pre-defined groups use the group naming convention when creating your morphs.

Placing a (.) after the first part of the name creates a new group. It’s suggested that you name your morph using the group.pose format; like Eyes.Open or Mouth.Smile.
For more information about Endomorphs see the Endomorphs section at the end of the Map tab chapter in the Modeler part of the manual.

Managing Groups

You can move a morph from one group to another by simply dragging it to the desired group.

Create a new group using the New Group button. This allows you to re-organize your morphs without having to return to modeler. Use the Rename Group button to give any of the morph groups a new name. You also have the option to remove groups with the Delete Group button.

Deleting a group that contains morphs will place those morphs in the previos group in the list. Also, deleting a group doesn’t delete it from the object.

Clicking the Graph Editor button in the Morph Mixer Panel will launch the Graph Editor with all the morphs channels in the channel list that appear in the Morph Slider area. The Reset Group button will set all the morph sliders in the Morph Slider Area back to 0%.

Morph Mixer Options

Morph Mixer gives you the ability to save and load grouping information using the Save/Load Grouping Data commands. Use the Save/Load Endomorph Mix to reuse your morph animation data.

Morph Mixer has three View Modes to choose from. These modes will determine what morph sliders will appear in the Morph Slider Area.

  • Normal - Will display all the Morphs from the Current group.
  • Display all morphs as one group - Every morph in the object will be displayed and treated as one group.
  • Display Active Morphs Only - Only morphs that have been animated will be displayed.

Use the Set Slider Range setting to set the Low/High (min/max) values for all sliders.

Morph Slider Area

The Morph Slider Area is where you will do all your animating of the individual morphs.

Individual Slider Banks

  • Morph Name - Name of morph for the Slider Bank.
  • Morph Slider - Slider used to interactively change the morph value.
  • Morph Value - Value of the current morph. You can manually enter in a value without using the slider.
  • Previous Keyframe - This button will skip to the previous keyframe in the animation.
  • KeyFrame - Displays Keyframe off and on.
    • Left click on “K” button creates key for the morph.
    • Left click on “K” button removes key if current frame has a keyframe for the morph.
    • Shift+ Left Click on “K” button keys all morphs in active group (respects view modes) at current value.
    • Shift+ Left Click on “K” button removes keys on all morphs in active group (respects view modes) if the current frame has a keyframe.
    • Ctrl+Left click on “K” button resets individual slider to zero and creates key.

Keyframes are always automatically created when the slider is adjusted.

  • Next Keyframe - This button will skip to the next keyframe in the animation.
  • Envelope - This will launch the Graph Editor with the morph channel selected.