Compositing and Rendering 734 The exercises in this chapter have not only introduced you to the compositing tools in LightWave, but have also given you the knowledge to create your own composited images and animations. From here, you can build your own 3D objects, such as cars, spaceships, insects, or people, and experiment with compositing them into real-world images. You can use the color photographs on the book's CD for your projects. Take a look in the Extras folder, and you'll find royalty-free images, which you can use in the same manner as the images from the exercises in this chapter. Try using some of the city photographs to fly objects in front of and behind buildings while casting shadows. Use other images to make a 3D character walk down a long sidewalk or a flight of stairs. From here, experiment and practice whenever you can. If you have a digital camera, keep it with you at all times to create your own images for compositing. Summary Rendering your animations has to be done. Someday, you might not need to render, as processors and video cards become increasingly powerful. For now, though, LightWave still has to render, just like any other 3D application. But you'll find that the rendering engine inside LightWave is one of the best around. It's strong and stable, and most importantly, it produces beautifully rendered im- ages. NewTek has added many OpenGL enhancements. These speed up your workflow, but also give the poor F9 (Render Current Frame) key a break. Work through the exercises in this book, and make your own animations anytime you can. You can't be in front of your computer 24 hours a day --well, maybe you can, but you shouldn't. When you get ready to take a break, set up a render. Don't just wait until the animation is "perfect." Render often and see how your animation looks. You might find new ways to enhance it and make it even better. Or, you might just find that it's perfect the way it is.