On The Rocks, Pt. 01

For years I’ve wanted to know how to do certain things. One of which is making asteroids. Doing planet and nebula shots is nice, but sometimes you just need to do different things. So, last week I got the March 2014 Lightwave newsletter in my e-mail. I get these because I’m a registered Lightwave user and, truth be told, I usually just glance over them and then dump them in the trash folder. Anywho, this month’s had a great picture of a space scene that an artist did with a space station and asteroids and a cool shuttle and some dudes in space suits. I clicked on it to get a better look at the picture, and found myself on a great “how I made this” page by the artist. Not only that, but he made a great video tutorial on making asteroids and an asteroid field. The basic mesh is pretty simple, but then you use procedural noise in the displacement node to get the funky shapes and procedurals for the textures. So, this is my first official asteroid:


Mine doesn’t look quite as “rocky” as his do, because I used smoothing in my materials. It looks too pixilated without that, in my opinion. I honestly don’t even know how he made such a great looking image without smoothing. Though, he also used Lightwave 11.5, which may have a way to make that look better without smoothing. (or he used a smoothing filter in rendering) However, I can also up the bump on the material, which I’ll probably do later. I also had to figure out how to make his method work on larger rocks than he was making. His is 1m, mine is 200m. Fortunately, he had a link to an example file in his YouTube comments section, which helped me figure out why his method wasn’t working for me and what I had to do to fix it. Also, once I have a few more asteroids, I’ll make a field. I’m not just doing it with one rock. (boring)

Anywho, any Lightwave users who want to do this may want to check out the tutorial: http://www.cgarena.com/freestuff/tutorials/misc/space-station/aurora.html


6 thoughts on “On The Rocks, Pt. 01

  1. Like how it came out. I have seen similar tutorials for MAX. Unfortunately I have to sort of reverse engineer as I do not have the same set of displacement capabilities in my older version. It’s really nice to have these type of items in your kit.

    • The two worst kinds of tutorials are ones that are too old or too new. I remember trying to learn Blender using tutorials from about 15 versions earlier. That was fun.

      Fortunately, this guy is using Lightwave 11.5, which doesn’t seem too different from 10.1, at least not in the areas that matter as far as the tools used here. He did say in the tutorial that he thinks you need at least Lightwave 9 in order to have the right tools, so I’m glad I didn’t get an older version. Before finding Lightwave 10 on EBay at a great price, I was looking at 7 and 8. Fortunately, I didn’t get either of those. 🙂

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