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Mechanical Displays 2: DP Kit’s Part Move

In Mechanical Displays 2: DP Kit Part Move, Dana W. Burman shows how to build and animate a mechanical display with irregularly shaped panels using Denis Pontonnier’s DP Kit Part Move plugin. Along the way he covers some simple modeling techniques, surfacing with the node editor, and using Part Move in animation and texturing. He answers the question “What is a part?” by showing them in action. The term Part is used in two different ways in LightWave. He points out and demonstrates many of the features of the Part Move node. He also demonstrates a couple of other mechanical display scenes which are also included in the tutorial files. These additional scenes go into surfacing and using a weight map to control which parts get moved.

This is a project-based tutorial with some instruction.

The Inspiration:

My inspiration for the mechanical displays projects comes from the artwork of Daniel Rozin who has been exploring building mechanical displays in the real world for over a decade.

About this Tutorial:

This tutorial assumes a basic knowledge of the LightWave interface, but if beginners watch carefully enough (and pause and rewind when necessary) they should be able to follow along. If you have any questions concerning this tutorial or you get stuck, please feel free to ask the author.

This tutorial was made using LightWave 3D 11.5, although most of the techniques should work in earlier versions of the software (DP Kit has versions for LW 9 and up). Some of the modeling tools I use were added in LW11.5, and different tools/techniques will need to be used for lesson 8 if you don’t have LW11.

Video Run time is approximately  2hr 11 min.  Resolution: 1280 x 720 – Format: .mp4 H.264  – Size: 648MB across two .zip files

Mechanical Displays 2: DP Kit Part Move $19.00 – Instant Download

Check Out D.W. Burman’s Other Tutorials

Note: DP Kit is updated often, so make sure you have the latest version, and don’t forget to tip (make a donation to) Denis Pontonnier for providing his great tools.


01 Intro and Caveats [03:14]
02 What is a Part and What is Part Move  [14:35]
03 Uneven Tiles Display: Modeling  [15:06]
Uneven Tiles Display: Animation Settings
04a Initial Setup  [06:34]
04b Moving Images: Multiply Add Method  [04:51]
04c Moving Images: Gradient and Remap Node Methods  [04:58]
Uneven Tiles Display: Texturing
05a Scene and Initial Surface Setup  [08:57]
05b Adding Randomness to the tile colors  [12:44]
05c Lighting and Bump Tweaks  [06:36] Render
Variations on a theme: a look at demo scenes for different types of displays
06a Chrome Ball Display [06:52] – Using Weight Maps to Constrain Movement –  Render
06b Chrome Ball Display Delay [06:13] – Experimental Time Echo Image Map Setup – Render
06c Disk Display – Animation Setup [06:15] – Rotation Values
06d Disk Display – Texture Setup [05:57] – Getting the CD/DVD Pattern on the Disks – Render
07 Setting up the Time Echo Effect From the Chrome Ball Display Delay Scene [07:28]
08 Baking an MDD File of Your Object’s Animation [04:11]
09 Exploring the Part Move Node’s Options [17:19]