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skarab
09-23-2003, 09:17 PM
-true Quaternion Rotations
-a dopesheet where I can manipulate large numbers of key frames at once as well as individual key frames, rather than being limited to just stretching the beginning and end frames as seen in the scene and spreadsheet editor
-edge weights
-better bone deformation
-some kind of npr shading system with lots of custom options
-faster rendering with no more grainy soft shadows or radiosity
-uv maps that don't distort on sub d objects
-3d paint
-have the graph editor update to the selected object
-I don't know if this is possible, but a system that allows you to have different weight maps for different bone channels and also have the muscle flexing etc. able to work on all channels

I'd lose bone dynamics, soft bodies, particles and a lot of the "gimmicky" features (not that they are unwelcome) for more solid implementation of some of the current tools, although I do like the ability to lock down joints in lw8.

cheers
oliver

hrgiger
09-24-2003, 08:58 AM
Well, it looks like we're getting a dopesheet in 8 or something similar to keytrack.

Edge weights would definately be very welcome.

I definately feel a 3D painting solution is needed either through a 3D painting app or some solution to paint across seams via photoshop. I was thinking of when I used to use Animation Master, you used to apply textures via decals. They're a little primitive vs. UV maps but the one nice thing it allowed you to do was to rotate the model to where the seam was, take a screenshot, blend the seam in photoshop, and then apply it as another decal on top. Even something like that would be a respectable solution.

We have subpatches and we have UV's. It only makes sense that we would have support for Subptached UV's.

Dodgy
09-24-2003, 10:09 AM
We already have the decals. Just use standard projection with an alpha.. ?

hrgiger
09-24-2003, 03:26 PM
I know you can use standard projection with an alpha.

But how do you do it from an odd angle? The way it worked in Animation Master was you actually placed the decal from whatever viewpoint your camera was looking at the model. Meaning you could basically planar project from any angle.

DaveW
09-25-2003, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by skarab

-better bone deformation

Could you explain this more? It sounds like you just need to learn how to rig better.



-some kind of npr shading system with lots of custom options

There are tons of npr shaders, what specifically are you looking for?



-have the graph editor update to the selected object

Already there.



-I don't know if this is possible, but a system that allows you to have different weight maps for different bone channels and also have the muscle flexing etc. able to work on all channels


I don't think you can have per-channel weights; it might be possible but it sounds like it would be very messy to deal with. The muscle flexing and joint compensation should be able to work for all channels, but you have better control with muscle bones anyway. And if they include a decent smartskin system it will be even better.



I'd lose bone dynamics, soft bodies, particles and a lot of the "gimmicky" features (not that they are unwelcome) for more solid implementation of some of the current tools, although I do like the ability to lock down joints in lw8.


Why lose what's already there? And improving dynamics and particles *is* making current tools more solid. Maybe you don't use them that much, but many people do use them daily. They are important core features that sorely needed an update.




But how do you do it from an odd angle? The way it worked in Animation Master was you actually placed the decal from whatever viewpoint your camera was looking at the model. Meaning you could basically planar project from any angle.


You can use TextureGuide in Modeler, there is a camera projection mode. It's certainly not ideal, but it'll do in a pinch. It's semi-broken, but I've found you can get good results if you use the numeric controls for position and rotation, and use the interactive controls for scale. TextureGuide could use a lot of work, but for some situations it can be very useful.

hrgiger
09-25-2003, 12:42 AM
Originally posted by DaveW
Could you explain this more? It sounds like you just need to learn how to rig better.



I don't think it's fair to assume that Skarab can't rig well because he wants better bone deformation. Messiah for example was know to have more intuitive bone deformation then Lightwave.


As far as using texture guide in modeler... I haven't used texture guide but I'm not sure how it could be used to paint over seams between texture maps. You would have to see a rendered image to know what to paint over. How would texture guide help you do that?

Dodgy
09-25-2003, 03:01 AM
Can't you use 'front' projection for that? Then bake the texture in? Admittedly it would be better if you could then bake the uvs from that camera...

DaveW
09-25-2003, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by hrgiger
I don't think it's fair to assume that Skarab can't rig well because he wants better bone deformation. Messiah for example was know to have more intuitive bone deformation then Lightwave.

Getting proper bone deformation is all about knowing how to rig properly. LW's bone deformation is very similar to messiahs. Messiah's big advantage for rigging was the process of laying out bones and having a setup mode, and a rudimentary expression builder.




As far as using texture guide in modeler... I haven't used texture guide but I'm not sure how it could be used to paint over seams between texture maps. You would have to see a rendered image to know what to paint over. How would texture guide help you do that?

You can bake the textures, or if it's a simple texturemap just have modeler show textures, or use the ancient alpha blending trick. Alpha blending will probably work best.

Elmar Moelzer
09-25-2003, 12:39 PM
Well, I have to say that getting good deformations in all situations still takes the most time in my rigging- process.
I have used a few other 3d- apps in the past and each method has advantages and disadvantages.
More options for the deformations certainly make sense.
I would also suggest different bone- strengths for heading, pitch and bank.
This makes sense for loose sleeves i.e. They would deform with the heading and pitch, but if you twist the arm, the clothing would not follow that much. Therefore I also understand the request for different weightmaps for different bone- channels.
Personally I dont use weightmaps in my rigs though.
There are of course workarounds for all problems, but it is always good to have additional options IMHO.
CU
Elmar

skarab
09-25-2003, 05:50 PM
well actually I think I'm getting quite good results with my deformation, I've just been rigging quite a complex shoulder setup with a large rigid shoulder pad and I'm quite happy with my results. But the time taken to rig this particular joint was tedious which is why I requested better bone deformations. During this process I found that when I got the deformation for one channel right, another channels deformation would be ruined until I eventually got it to a reasonable level. I didn't want to use smartskins because for instance the pitch 90 morph might work when the joint is rotated at 90 on the pitch but what about when it's rotated 90 on the pitch and 90 on the heading, then the pitch 90 morph didn't work properly so a new morph would have to be created when the pitch and heading were both rotated etc.
Just having one morph for each channel usually works fine for most joints, but when doing slightly more complex joints I think using lightwave's implementation of smartskins is way too time consuming. Of course with more practice I'll get faster at this, but it would be nice to have more powerful and flexible tools to work with.


with the npr shaders, well there are a few but they're mostly just cell shaders. What I mean is an npr shading system where I can change settings to get maybe a crayon drawn look, or a watercolour or whatever and because it would be all built into the one shader you could blend different shaders to achieve unique looks, I know there is the blend surface shader but that's not really what I mean.


Well DaveW maybe the graph editor updates to the selected object for you. But when I select a new object and the graph editor is open it remain with the previously selected object. Sure it will update if I select the object from channels tab in the graph editor and on the timeline in the spreadsheet and probably some other places, but it doesn't update if you select from the 3D view or the object list.

After thinking about it I too think that having different weights for different channels would be a bit messy, but again I would just like some more options for beter bone deformation maybe better implementation of smart skins would work.

I agree that particles etc. are really needed in an application such as lightwave, what I meant is that I think that they should make the even more essential tools such as the rigging system more refined before anything else. But why not do both.


oliver

hrgiger
09-25-2003, 06:58 PM
Originally posted by DaveW
Getting proper bone deformation is all about knowing how to rig properly.

I know Dave.


Originally posted by DaveW
LW's bone deformation is very similar to messiahs. Messiah's big advantage for rigging was the process of laying out bones and having a setup mode, and a rudimentary expression builder. [/B]

I know about Messiah's big advantages but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm taking it straight from PMG's mouth. Here's what it says on their webpage:

Bone Deformation - Blazingly fast, ultra accurate, and easy to setup. The response, even with hundreds of bones, is real-time. And because they're so accurate, you don't need dozens of "anchor" bones so setup is even easier and faster. In most instances you won't even need to tweak any of the controls, just place them and that's it.

DaveW
09-25-2003, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger

Bone Deformation - Blazingly fast, ultra accurate, and easy to setup. The response, even with hundreds of bones, is real-time. And because they're so accurate, you don't need dozens of "anchor" bones so setup is even easier and faster. In most instances you won't even need to tweak any of the controls, just place them and that's it.

messiah's deformations are a lot faster, but they don't produce better results than LW's. LW doesn't need any more anchor bones than messiah does.


Skarab: have you tried using musclebones to fix shoulder areas? I haven't needed to do it on any of my characters, but I've seen other people do it and it looks pretty good.

If you want the graph editor to update when you select a new item you need to enable it in the options.

skarab
09-26-2003, 03:14 AM
thanks for that little tip with the graph editor, I admit I never really checked that out I just assumed that would be the default.

hrgiger
09-26-2003, 06:53 AM
Originally posted by DaveW
messiah's deformations are a lot faster, but they don't produce better results than LW's. LW doesn't need any more anchor bones than messiah does.




Well, I beg to differ on that one. I downloaded the Messiah 3.3 Demo last night, loaded up one of my characters, boned it and animated it and the bone deformation was better. The same model in Lightwave required weight maps and/or holder bones to acheive the same kind of deformation. So it looks like PMG isn't just tooting their horn on that one.

DaveW
09-26-2003, 11:38 AM
Well what can I say. My experience has been the opposite. I sometimes use messiah, sometimes LW depending on the project. Although I sometimes place the bones a little differently, I've never needed a bunch of anchor bones in LW or messiah. I put a couple in the chest and at the joints (sometimes musclebones instead of anchors) to keep them from collapsing. If messiah uses any fewer bones it's like 2 less bones.

skarab
09-27-2003, 07:42 PM
I too just downloaded the messiah demo and rigged my character, basically just drawing the bones. I also got far better deformation than with the same bone setup in lightwave, but it wasn't quite as good as the deformations I got when I weight mapped my character in lightwave. If there are some good options to tweak the deformation in messiah, I am seriously considering getting messiah and passing on upgrading lightwave since I can setup so easily. It would be a tough decision considering all the great rigging upgrades to lw 8, I guess I'll try the demo before I do anything.

oliver

DaveW
09-27-2003, 07:53 PM
Something you can use in messiah to help fix deformations is the spherize effect. It's in the setup/effects tab.

hrgiger
09-27-2003, 10:52 PM
Yeah, I would hold off until you see 8 Skarab. 8 pretty much looks like it has the same functionality as messiah as far as setting up bones and who knows all what other features it will have.