View Full Version : Fiber FX questions

08-16-2011, 10:05 AM
Hello there.
I have just tried to use Fiber FX for some real project and, I sort of am not sure if I understand well what my findings mean. I quite hope I did not notice something important about fiber FX and someone will say hey, this is the way to do it.

First strange thing is, the fibers do not seam to really change their thickness however I adjust whatever parameter when I am in Thin mode. (I would guess though its a thin mode, they should be able to be thin or thicker as I need), the thick mode seem a bit strange to me, and I do not see a parameter to taper the tip less or more either.

Clumping, splay and some other parameters when set to max clealy show polygonal structure of the underlying geometry, and I dont see any parameter to change the size of the clumps.

But what bothers me most - I tried some combing, first in modeler .. using guides as some video on fiber FX suggested, but I do get it all rather messed up around placing the third guide on the model (not talking about the guides beeing placed allways not where I clicked) and I did gave up after some time. I then tried using the edit guides in Layout ... which is how I would expect it should behave, I could achieve almost what I needed. But, I get a message when I wanted to set render subd level higher that Its incompattible with FFx ... also I did lost completely the edited guides and had to do it again .. to finally find out that I just dont see any way how will I then aply all I did set up in FFx with edited guides into my bunch of allready animated (and still tweaked) scenes.

So my conclusion is - since I cant find there any surface combing that would be dependent on some selection sets or so ... that there is one or two ways how to use and be able to transfer the combing from modeller that are rather unusable for me, and one very usable way in layout that actually cannot be transfered to another scene on an allready animated character? is that right?

08-16-2011, 10:10 AM
This really helped me hit the ground running with fibre fx...


Hope this helps.

08-17-2011, 07:21 AM
Thank you very much for the link - I have seen some of those before but not all of them, and they for sure help ...
Yet I did not notice if there is anything regarding using the edit guides in layout and transfering the ffx to another scene ...
For me even the scene I edited yesterday and saved has been reset again to the default state without me being able to notice why did that happen ...
Do you know where the information is stored? Can it be transfered to the same model in a different scene (allready animated)?

08-17-2011, 10:01 AM
Did you try saving out your fiber fx settings from the fiber fx panel itself?

That has always worked for me and allows loading between scenes.

08-18-2011, 11:50 PM
Thank you - I will give it a try asap, though I do not expect it to transfer the edited guides ... yet there is still hope :)

01-30-2012, 10:37 AM
The data saved out from the FiberFX window in Layout doesn't transfer the guides. I keep losing my guides as well when reloading a scene where I edited the guides in Layout.

I tried saving the scene, saving the setups in the FiberFX panel, nothing seems to work to save Layout guides.

EDIT: It saves the guides on a simple scene with a sphere, but for some reason it loses them on my more complex scene.

EDIT2: Make sure you set your objects to Textured w/Wireframe mode in the Scene Editor. I'm getting a bug where it seems like the guides are lost, but it's because my object was set to bounding box/vertices/wireframe in the Scene Editor. Once I set the object back to Textured w/Wireframe the fibers snap to their guides once I flip the frame back and forth (yet another annoying bug with FiberFX). The guides are also messed up and not working correctly until I set the object to Textured w/Wireframe mode.

01-30-2012, 01:13 PM
To save FFX hair guides from Layout you need to enable LWDynamics and then do a Save Transformed. I use this technique as a 'plan B', just in case something happens and I cannot recover my FFX guides settings. At least this is how it works in LW 10.1; this trick does not work with previous versions of Lightwave 3D, only with the current 10.1 (and maybe 11? I have not tested this trick in LW 11 yet.)

I'm actually not busy this week (for once!) so I'll try to make some videos to show how this works. BTW, ClothFX works great with either type, guides generated in Layout or exported from Layout as .lwo and reimported. (Or from Modeler of course.)


01-30-2012, 04:55 PM
Thanks for the tips. Now how do I go about restoring my guides in Layout?

I have a 10.1 scene that keeps crashing and whenever I reload, even if I saved when the guides were fine, the guides reload all messed up.

I did a "Save Transformed" on my two objects that are generating hair before the crash, so in Modeler both have them to have their guides. But now what do I do?

If I try to just replace the objects in my scene with the "Saved Transformed" objects, the objects fly away because they're transformed. I also used bones in my objects to deform/place them exactly a certain way, which FiberFX respects. But doing a replace object also screws this up because now my bones are trying to deform and already pre-deformed "Save Trans" object. Which would be bad anyway if I wanted to further tweak my bones.

Aside from the above, what's the technique for using Modeler guides to drive Pixel Filter FiberFX fibers?

01-30-2012, 05:23 PM
...I'm actually not busy this week (for once!)
Sigh! I jinxed myself by writing that. Just got a call to come into work tomorrow. :p

01-30-2012, 06:43 PM
So is there a way to use guides from Modeler to drive the Layout pixel filter FiberFX?

I'm on a deadline production shot with this, so if there's a method I would greatly appreciate you outlining it here quickly. I imagine it it would be fairly simple if it's possible. If not, I'm immediately abandoning FiberFX as losing my guides in Layout upon reload is unacceptable and simply not a solution to have to re-groom every time I open the shot.

01-30-2012, 07:04 PM
Yes, but you will need to change your FFX setup and apply FFX Filter to the guides object instead of the base object. If FFX is used this way it's basically the same as using Sasquatch with modeled guides.

01-30-2012, 07:59 PM
You can still sculpt the guides then turn on LWDynamics and save the object with the new guides in 11, so that workflow still works.

01-30-2012, 10:06 PM
Here's a screen cap from a test I worked on several months ago. It's not meant to look 'beautiful', it was just a 'quick and dirty' proof-of-concept. In the end we went with old school 'Final Fantasy' style polygonal strips instead of rendered fibers because we needed to match a look that had been pre-approved by the client.


Anyway, I started out using Layout guides for this test, which worked well but I used the Save Transformed trick because I wanted to do something additional to it in Modeler. (Sorry, I can't remember what that was right now.) In this scene, the Xfrmd guides were loaded back into the scene and Metalinked to the horse. Dynamics were calculated the usual way using ClothFX. Earlier in the test I used FFX's built-in LWDynamics, which looked pretty much like this because LWDynamics is also using ClothFX.

As you can see here, FFX is just applied directly to the guides instead of the horse. Pretty straightforward, no special tricks, it just works.

BTW, the real intent of this test was to see how well the new FFX motion vectors worked. At the time I ran into a few critical bugs with the FFX motion vectors. The bugs I ran into may have been fixed since that time but I haven't had chance to check this yet. I know the Pixomondo guys successfully used the new FFX motion vectors on Terra Nova but only for non-animated FFX (i.e., no dynamics).

If I can find time this week, I'll try to record a video showing how to set this up but in the meantime I can try to answer questions here in this thread. I should be clear that I haven't used FFX in production yet, only in a bunch of R&D tests. We'll probably give it a shot soon though, especially if the motion vector issues have been fixed.


01-30-2012, 10:13 PM
For clarity, here's another look with GL preview off and on.



01-30-2012, 10:26 PM
And here's what the 'raw' FFX guides look like after using Save Transform and importing back into Layout but before dynamics are calculated.


Hey, I said it wasn't pretty, right? :)


01-30-2012, 10:52 PM
One more thing: this might be obvious but if you export your guides using Save Transformed, it's really not useful for 'restoring' edited guide settings in Layout. Doing a Save Transformed is basically 'freezing' the Layout guides into an ordinary .lwo and the result is meant to replace, not restore, the Layout guides. When I said I use this method as as a 'backup', I meant this is one way to preserve a carefully crafted hairstyle created with FFX in Layout without fear of losing it because of a possible FFX error.

To be fair, FFX is much better these days about remembering its styled guides but the potential for loss is still there. IMO, the devs really need to add a Save/Load Guides button just so you don't go crazy from worrying about it.


01-31-2012, 01:05 AM
Wow, thanks for all the help and examples. It makes sense. However, I still have a problem. I think I've found yet another bug in FiberFX, I've fogged about five or six since starting this shot.

I have simple plane object, underneath a couple nulls to control a system it's in, and the object itself has bones in it to deform it slightly in a particular way. I attached an example scene.

I have Layout FFX guides on the object and I keep losing them in the actual scene I'm working on (and the hair-styling is extremely particular and needs to be exactly a certain way to look right).

I'm running into the problem of the "Save Trans" guides not deforming properly to my bone system. With "Enable Deform" on (because of my bone shaping), when I enable "LWDynamics" on my original object, the guides pop on but they're jumping off my object. They're double deforming due to my bones for some reason (the bug). So if I do a "Save Transformed", they're not in the right place.

If I leave "Enable Deform" off, my guides turn on with "LWDynamics" on the flat plane, and I can I bring them back in and set their bone properties to "Use Bones From..." set to my original object, but for some reason it doesn't deform right, when it seems like it should.

Basically I need to save the guides via this method discussed, but still be able to control their placement with my bone chain for tweaking. I'd even accept maybe not being able to use the bones once I do a "Save Trans" but I can't even get that to work right because of the bug I mentioned. This is all really annoying because I got my "look" looking very nice... I just need to be able to save the fricking thing. :cursin:

I've attached the scene if you'd like try it. It's fairly simple.

EDIT: Fogged. (https://fogbugz.newtek.com/default.asp?43738_op2sj3sc)

01-31-2012, 11:03 AM
Just wanted to update.

With some help from the LW bug team, I got response from my fog that you have to enable LWDynamics when your bones are in their rest position, not after you've rotated them. So my LWDynamics guides are now being created properly and they deform correctly with my bones.

I also figured out how to get my generated guides back into Layout correctly without doing a "Save Trans Object". You can just enable LWDynamics, use the hub to switch over to Modeler, and the original object will have the guides on it. Just cut them off the original object, paste them into a new layer/object, and then you can bring them back into Layout, parent them to the original object with Parent in Place off, then set them to use the bones of the original object and they deform correctly (something I couldn't get the "Save Trans Object" guides to ever do).

But now I've run into more problems, one step forward three steps back. :bangwall: First, the guides that come in from Modeler are their own object, so generating fibers from them loses all the texture-mapped generation attributes I had on my plane. I used a planar projected texture to control density, width, scale, etc. I had made a nice eyebrow shape coming off the plane with a texture and I can't do that on an object made up of only guides. I know I could cut away some of the guides, but again, we're losing control. Secondly, I can't really edit these how I want to. I like the "Edit Guides" tools in FiberFX. Once I "freeze" my guides out to Modeler, I'm stuck editing them in Modeler which is difficult, especially if you need to reset or straighten them how you can in "Edit Guides". Lastly, the look doesn't look the same. It's somewhat close but the LWDynamics guides don't quite match mine and this shot is on an eyebrow and the camera is inches away, so the styling has to be right.

On top of this, on average I crash about every four steps in this process. And in the latest version of my scene every time I click "LWDynamics" I get a fatal crash. So basically, even if I got this to work, the look doesn't look the same and I'm more or less done having the ability to edit my guides. All because there's a bug with Layout losing it's internal guides on objects.

So... moving on to Sasquatch or another solution. FiberFX, IMO, is not production ready. It has some nice flexibility and looks pretty good, but it just feels and acts like it's been integrated into LW with a roll of duct tape. It's this type of thing, where you have a very complicated plugin and how badly it integrates, that scares me about the future of this incarnation of LW. It makes me wonder if canceling CORE was the right choice.