Click image to see the final QuickTime VR output.

To download the sample QTVR scene for Lightwave, Control-click (right click for you MacAlly mouse users) the image above and select "Download link to disk."



The 58-Second Tutorial
Generating a QuickTime VR Movie in LightWave [6]

by Stephen Schleicher
Senior Producer

Not much documentation exists in regards to creating QuickTime VR movies in the LightWave manuals or community. In this quick tutorial, we'll use the QuickTime VR Object movie creator to create a movie to display your 3D object in interactive space.

If you haven’t done so, install the QuickTime plugin from the Input-Output folder in the Lightwave/plugins directory. Then just follow these steps.

  1. Load your object into layout, and position your camera so the object almost fills the screen. Create a keyframe for the Camera at 0.
  2. Add additional lights as needed to evenly light your object. I've found that a key light and back light (set at 50 percent) are usually enough for this type of 3D object display.
  3. Add a Null Object, and name it Camera Null.
  4. With the Camera selected open the Motion Options panel, and parent the camera to the Camera Null. Since the Null was loaded into the origin, it will act as our pivot point for the camera.
  5. With the Camera Null selected, change the Pitch to 90 and Heading to 0, and create a keyframe for the Camera Null at frame 0.
  6. Open the Go to Frame panel, and enter 20. You could just move the scroller at the bottom, but this might be faster for you.
  7. Change the Heading to -360 degrees (leaving the Pitch at 90), and create a keyframe.

  8. Move to frame 21; change the Pitch to 45 degrees; change the Heading to 0; and create a keyframe.
  9. Move to frame 40; change Heading to -360; and create a keyframe. Got the idea?
  10. Repeat this process by creating keyframes at 41, 60, 61, 80, 81 and 100, changing the Pitch to 0, -45, and -90.
  11. When you have your keyframes set, open the Graph Editor, and set each of your keyframes for the Heading and Pitch to Linear. This will prevent LightWave from trying to calculate inbetween frames between the even and odd numbered frames and throwing the spin of the camera off.
  12. With that complete select the Camera, and open the Item Properties. Lower the image size to 320 x 240 (or smaller), and close the panel.
  13. Open the Render Options, and, under the Output Tab, check the Save Animation and name the file. Choose QuickTimeVR Object as the output option.
  14. Under the Options for QuickTimeVR, leave the Pan Frames set to 20. (We rotated around the object 360 degrees in 20 frames.) Also leave the Start and End Angles at 0 and 360.
  15. The Rows (or Tilt Frames) refers to the number of different Pitch angles that were used to create the movie. In our example we used five (90, 45, 0, -45, -90). Enter that number for the Rows, and make sure the start angle is 90 and the end angle is -90.
  16. If you're not going to allow the end user to look up or down in your VR movie, leave the number at 1. This will mean that your animation will only be 20 frames long, and much smaller in file size.
  17. Under the Animation Settings Tab, you can change the Compression Settings codec to the desired resolution.
  18. When all is ready let the animation render out. When finished, you will have a ready-made QuickTime VR movie to add to your Web site.
  19. There's no step 19.... There's no step 19!

Incidentally, you don’t always have to rotate the camera around an object. You can leave the Camera at the Origin and pan it 360 degrees around your virtual set to immerse your viewer in your reality.

I have included the .lws scene for you to refer to. Replace the L6 logo with your own object, and resize or move the camera as needed.

Stephen Schleicher is a senior producer here at Digital Media Net and heads up our Digital Webcast and Video Systems sites. He also hosts the Video Systems and Digital Webcast World Wide User Groups.


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