LightWave 2018

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Spline Displacement

Spline Displacement is not a new tool. It used to be called SplineControl


The Spline Displacement Tool (Modify >Tools > Spline Disp Ctrl) is a simple way to animate hoses, tentacles, etc. using a spline with control handles. This tool will create a spline the length of the object with a user specified amount of control points that can be used to deform an object.


To use Spline Displacement

  1. Select the object that you would like to animate with Spline Displacement.



  2. In the Object Properties window, Primitive tab, Modifier section, choose Spline Displacement from the Add Modifier Dropdown menu.


  3. Double-click Spline Displacement to open its interface.


  4. Choose how many Control Points you want (you can change this later, but doing so might lose any animation set). The slider will set a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 256, but a minimum of 3 can be typed if desired.
  5. Use the Spline Displacement button (Modify > Spline Disp Ctrl) to activate and move the nodes around.

Spline Displacement Options

  • Control Points - This field will determine the number of control handles that will be generated.

Each control point will be numbered starting from 0. This number will appear in OpenGL.

  • Use Object CPs - Uses nulls with the names given in Object Name Prefix placed in scene as control points for the spline displacement
  • Object Name Prefix - Prefix for naming nulls for spline displacement

    Spline Displacement can use other objects as controllers for the displacement. Here we look at moving our bar with null objects.

  • Object Axis - Defines the axis the control spline will be drawn on.
  • Auto Key Create - Similar to Layout’s standard Auto Key in that it will automatically create a keyframe as you move a control point. The only difference is that it will always create when on frame zero regardless of whether or not this option is active.
  • Create Key - When Auto Key Create is not active use this to create a keyframe.

Hitting Enter on the keyboard will not set a keyframe for a control point.

  • Set Rest Shape - Use this to change the default rest position of the control points in relationship to the object.
  • Reset - This function works like undo, however instead of just undoing the last move it will reset all control points to their rest position.
  • Allow Stretch - When this option is activated the object is able to be stretched past its original scale.


    Left: Allow Stretch OFF, Right: Allow Stretch ON
  • Scale by Weight Map - This option will use the Weight Map selected and only deform that area of the mesh.