In this Tutorial we will be creating a realistic Lantern. When I first
modelled the Lantern I was using a real one as a reference. While
working in Lightwave I was taking measurements of the Lantern and using
that as I went by. The result was better than I expected, and since
I’ve had a few requests on a Tutorial being written on how to model
one, I thought it would fit nicely as my next Tutorial Project.
If you have one of these Lanterns in your house, then by all means
go get it! Have a look at it and figure out what modelling techniques
might be best to use. When I had a look at mine, I noticed that most of
it was just round shapes, and one tool quickly came to mind – The Lathe
Tool. I could build most of this using only the Pen Tool and then
Picture 1 shows the Lantern we are about to build. The image to the
left is a rough sketch of the outlines, which we will use as guides for
the Pen Tool, and the image to the right is an OpenGL shot of the main
Picture 1: A rough sketch and a preview of a Lantern
So we will create the Lantern in sections, starting with the base
and moving upwards. Before we start I should also mention that even
though the Tutorial is step by step, it might not be aimed at the very
beginners of Lightwave. I will not explain where to find tools or what
tools do. If you’re just starting out with Lightwave, then my Beginners
Guide might be a good choice. Good Luck!
Creating the 2D Shapes
Lower Base Section
Okay, I have made a few in-scale drawings of the parts we are about
to create. Start by loading up Modeler and bring up the Display options
panel by pressing “d”. Switch to the Backdrop Tab and select the bottom
left viewport, then use the settings shown in picture 2.
Picture 2: The Background settings
Click OK to save the changes, then size up the Bottom Left viewport
to max. Zoom in until the image fits the viewport as well. Now all we
have to do is trace the lines of the background image with the Pen Tool
to create the basic 2D shape of the Base section.
Don’t be afraid to place out many points, I used 67 points for the
Base Section. The more points you use the more detail the Lantern will
have, although 67 should be quite enough for this section. The
following pictures shows where I placed my points and where there
should be extra many points (for detail). Take a few seconds and study
these and try to place your points in a similar way.
Picture 3: The points placed out using the background image as reference (Click to enlarge)
Select all the points you have created and hit “i” on your
keyboard. This is the Point Info Panel, which gives you information
about each individual point you’ve placed. Picture 4 shows that each
point has been given a number, and this number represents in which
order I created the point. As you can see I started in the lower right
corner and then went in a clockwise order to create the points. You can
also remove the background image now; it will make it a bit easier to
see where the points are.
Picture 4: All 67 points selected & Point Info panel showing (Click to enlarge)
The following picture shows some of the more tedious and detailed parts of this section.
Picture 5: Close-ups on the more detailed parts (Click to enlarge)
This will become the base of our Lantern then, and we will keep it
as a 2D shape/polygon while we make the other ones, and then we’ll
Lathe them all at the same time. Save your object at this point, choose
a filename such as “Lantern.lwo” or something similar.
Upper Base Section
The first 2D shape/polygon we made should be in Layer 1, so switch
to Layer 2 now and bring up the Display Options Panel. Go to the
Backdrop Tab and just change the background image, keep all the size
and centre values, like in picture 6. All the 2D shapes will be created
at the same place for now, and later on we will move them to their
Picture 6: Backdrop settings for the second image
Click OK to save the changes, then start working with the Pen Tool again, like we did in the first chapter.
For this section I used 38 points, shown in picture 7.
Picture 7: Points placed along the contours of the background image
Remove the background image for now and have a look at picture 8 for some more detail on certain parts.
Picture 8: Close-ups on the more detailed parts (Click to enlarge)
So lets get on with the next section. Switch to Layer 3 and bring
up the Display options panel again, then switch to the Backdrop tab and
change the “Image” to picture3.tif. Just keep the rest of the settings
to the way they were with the other two images.
Once again start tracing the outlines of the image in the Backview
(Bottom Left Viewport). Try to create the points in a similar way as
me, and for this section I used 25 points, picture 9 shows the 2D shape
Picture 9: Section 3 – the Glass Holder
This section was fairly simple to make, but there’s one thing you
need to think about. As you can see in picture 9, the mid section of
the 2D shape does not contain any points, and I want you to create
yours the same way. This section will later have holes in it, and
that’s why we don’t want any points here, you’ll see why later on.
Select the two points shown in the top image of picture 10. As for now I have removed the backdrop image.
Picture 10: Use the Set Value Tool and place the points
Use the Set Value Tool (ctrl+v) and enter –20mm for the X-axis and
then click OK. Then select the points shown in the bottom image of
picture 10 and use the Set Value Tool again, this time use a value of
–32mm on the X-axis. Click OK and the points will move to the new
This is it for this 2D shape, so lets get on with the Glass part.