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VermilionCat
02-06-2013, 03:46 AM
Hi,
I don't understand how to store FFX style with lwo?
I can edit guides but when I reload a scene they are all gone...
It's now object dependent, right?

3DGFXStudios
02-06-2013, 03:54 AM
Did you save the objects as well?

VermilionCat
02-06-2013, 04:00 AM
Yeah, save, save transformed. Nothing. It supposed to be saved?

VermilionCat
02-06-2013, 04:23 AM
Hi,
It looks like it's saved but you cannot see in Modeler. Is there anyway to see this Vmap?

UnCommonGrafx
02-06-2013, 04:56 AM
As I understand, they are stored in the endomorph. To that end, they are available through something like morphmixer, for layout; for modeler, you should be able to with a weight shade view set for one of the viewports.

VermilionCat
02-06-2013, 05:18 AM
Hmmm... then it's not saved after all? I cannot see them in Morph neither in Weight. It's confusing...

VermilionCat
02-06-2013, 11:17 PM
Can anyone explain this? How do you save styled guide with object?

lino.grandi
02-07-2013, 06:14 AM
Can anyone explain this? How do you save styled guide with object?

All you have to do it's to save the object from Layout as soon as you've created a style.

lino.grandi
02-07-2013, 06:21 AM
As I understand, they are stored in the endomorph. To that end, they are available through something like morphmixer, for layout; for modeler, you should be able to with a weight shade view set for one of the viewports.

If we're dealing with polychains guides or Mixed Objects, the Style information it's stored in endomorphs, one for each created style. Being endomorph, they will be usable not only by FiberFX but even animatable in Layout using MorphMixer. Of course you'll be able to edit them in Modeler as well.

If we're creating styles on a surface mesh, no real geometry guides involved, the Styles will be only visible in FiberFX.

VermilionCat
02-07-2013, 06:35 AM
Hi, Lino!


If we're creating styles on a surface mesh, no real geometry guides involved, the Styles will be only visible in FiberFX.

I want to know more about this. You mean, there's no place to see your style in modeler? You can only see that when you activate FFX in Layout? But it's saved with object somewhere?

lino.grandi
02-07-2013, 07:09 AM
Hi, Lino!



I want to know more about this. You mean, there's no place to see your style in modeler? You can only see that when you activate FFX in Layout? But it's saved with object somewhere?

Since there's no geometry related to the style, of course you can't. It's something that only FiberFX can see and use, and yes, it's saved in the LWO.

VermilionCat
02-07-2013, 07:31 AM
Thank you for a clear answer! That explains a lot.

lino.grandi
02-07-2013, 07:32 AM
Thank you for a clear answer! That explains a lot.

You're welcome!

VermilionCat
02-09-2013, 02:29 AM
Sorry, another question arises.
If you create fiber guides in modeler, or create them in layout using polygonize, polygonize mixed and save them as actual geometry,
they no longer stick to the surface.
So basically if you want fur in your animal or whatever, you should use non-geometry guides.
Is this correct?

lino.grandi
02-09-2013, 02:02 PM
Sorry, another question arises.
If you create fiber guides in modeler, or create them in layout using polygonize, polygonize mixed and save them as actual geometry,
they no longer stick to the surface.
So basically if you want fur in your animal or whatever, you should use non-geometry guides.
Is this correct?

No, you can use guides for fur. And using a mixed object it's the best way imho. I think I need to make a quick video about this! Not at my pc now...I'll try to work on it as I'll be home.

Greenlaw
02-09-2013, 04:58 PM
I use hair/fur guides for FiberFX created with Modeler's Rail Clone Tool and Strand Modeler, and more recently with ZBrush FiberMesh. You can use the new Metalink node to 'attach' guides to the character mesh. This is how the guides are used with the character in this test video:

'Sister' Hair Test Using Bullet Dynamics In Lightwave 11.5 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-kQRSsaCpg)

In the past versions of LightWave, I had to use FXMetalink to attach guides which requires scanning the mesh ClothFX--this is no longer necessary with the new Metalink node.

You can use Edit Guides for FiberFX animation too. Just convert to Polygonize Mixed and it will deform with dynamics just fine. Here's an example I did a few weeks ago using Edit Guides with a Bullet cloth simulation:

Furry Carpet Test Using FiberFX and Bullet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCkuyIYHXuA)

The only issue I've run into with the Edit Guides approach is a constant flickering when network rendering to multiple nodes--otherwise, Edit Guides renders fine for me on a single node with no flickering. This is the reason why I switched to FiberMesh for FiberFX guides--so far, this method renders perfectly for me every time.

To be clear, the Edit Guides error is my personal experience--other users have been able to render my Edit Guides test scenes on their render farms just fine, so you're own mileage may vary.

G.

VermilionCat
02-09-2013, 11:44 PM
No, you can use guides for fur. And using a mixed object it's the best way imho. I think I need to make a quick video about this! Not at my pc now...I'll try to work on it as I'll be home.

Thanks, Lino! I'm looking forward to see it. A bit confusing part, at least for me.


I use hair/fur guides for FiberFX created with Modeler's Rail Clone Tool and Strand Modeler, and more recently with ZBrush FiberMesh. You can use the new Metalink node to 'attach' guides to the character mesh. This is how the guides are used with the character in this test video:

'Sister' Hair Test Using Bullet Dynamics In Lightwave 11.5 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-kQRSsaCpg)

I've never thought of using Dynamics on the guides because they are thousands of them.
But your video shows the potential Bullet can offer. Very impressive calculation time!
It indeed looks good.


Related Question: When you use Deforming body dynamics, you use meshfilter(weightmap) to define where Bullet reacts, right? My question is... weight values are respected by Bullet? I mean, weight 10% and 100% behave differently with Bullet deforming body?



You can use Edit Guides for FiberFX animation too. Just convert to Polygonize Mixed and it will deform with dynamics just fine. Here's an example I did a few weeks ago using Edit Guides with a Bullet cloth simulation:

Furry Carpet Test Using FiberFX and Bullet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCkuyIYHXuA)

Reminds me of my cat :) Nice animation.

I have some experiment and looks like I misunderstood.
I used to think FFX guides were created on polygonal normal. FiberFX in modeler still seems to do this. But actually fiber guides created with Polygonize mixed in Layout are laid to the vertices along with already assigned weightmaps!
So you are right. You can maintain the fiber guides root to the vertices during deformation and also can animate them with Bullet deforming body dynamics. This is cool. Only drawback is you HAVE TO use Bullet. So for the short animal fur, I still think non-geometric guides created in Layout is prefered? Don't know. Still need experimentation and examples from the others.


The only issue I've run into with the Edit Guides approach is a constant flickering when network rendering to multiple nodes--otherwise, Edit Guides renders fine for me on a single node with no flickering. This is the reason why I switched to FiberMesh for FiberFX guides--so far, this method renders perfectly for me every time.

I am not sure about this but note for the future. I also use BNR but BNR doesn't support 11.5 yet, right?

Greenlaw
02-10-2013, 04:47 AM
I've never thought of using Dynamics on the guides because they are thousands of them.
But your video shows the potential Bullet can offer. Very impressive calculation time!
It indeed looks good.
Yes, the result of that particular test blew me away, having used ClothFX for hair for nearly 10 years. I also used to use SoftFX for simpler hair motions but I think I'll be switching to Bullet for almost everything now.


Related Question: When you use Deforming body dynamics, you use meshfilter(weightmap) to define where Bullet reacts, right? My question is... weight values are respected by Bullet? I mean, weight 10% and 100% behave differently with Bullet deforming body?
I need to revisit that to answer properly.

Okay, I'm back and it looks like I'm using a gradient with a weight map under Shape Retention. Depending on the look your going for, the gradient settings will require tweaking. For long hair, I set the gradient so that there is more stiffness at the base and less towards the tips--but not completely down to zero because I want the hair to more or less return to its original state when the character stops moving. When animating long hair, you may also want to use some Linear Stiffness and a little Dampening too. I'm using 50% and 2% respectively in the long hair example above but that will change when I start using real motions on the character. For Sister's hair, I'm also going to stiffen it a little more near the roots using the gradient in SR--that might work better for quick jerky motions, which she's doing a lot of in the film.

To get your own Bullet settings, my recommendation is to use a version of hair with far fewer guides to get your general Bullet hair settings (because it's practically realtime,) and then switch to the full set of guides the final adjustment and rendering.


So for the short animal fur, I still think non-geometric guides created in Layout is prefered? Don't know. Still need experimentation and examples from the others.
I would agree--except for the network render flickering issue I kept running into, which may be a situation unique to my network because I haven't of anybody else running into this problem yet--and everybody who's tested this for me, including NewTek, says it works fine for them, so I'm at a loss. I spent several weeks hammering on this one and my feeling at the moment is that this is a LWSN-2 vs. LWSN-3 issue. I'm not a programmer or IT specialist so this is just a layman's guess.


I am not sure about this but note for the future. I also use BNR but BNR doesn't support 11.5 yet, right?
I use BNR 4.57 and it works fine with 11.5. (I think I have 4.57b installed even though the installer says 4.57a.) The only issue has been network rendering with the LWSN-3, which may or may not be required for Edit Guides FiberFX--I'm not completely sure yet--and LWSN-3 is not fully supported by BNR when using the built-in LightWave submit. My understanding is that to use LWSN-3 in BNR, you need create a custom LightWave submit that includes the LWSN-3 options and sadly that is beyond my humble IT skills. If you try to switch from LWSN-2 to LWSN-3 using the built-in LightWave scene submit, you may run into a bug--the developer is looking into this right now.

Otherwise, normal LightWave BNR submit with LWSN-2 works fine with 11.5, and externally modeled guides work perfectly fine with FiberFX and LWSN-2.

G.

Greenlaw
02-10-2013, 04:58 AM
Oh, one very important bit of info that I neglected to mention: if you're converting curves to guides, be sure to use FiberFX Strand Maker.

I used to use Sherpa because it allows you to reduce the sub-divisions for the final 2-point polygon guides but unfortunately Sherpa will not generate a root-to-tip weight map. (That said, I used Sherpa for FiberFX guides all throughout that 'DmC' production (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRXVzKKGPO4).)

FiberFX Strand Maker, on the other hand, does generate the weight map I'm using in Shape Retention and the extra geometry it creates doesn't seem to faze Bullet anyway. Strand Maker works great with curves generated from Rail Cloning (Stuart Aitken's method (http://www.worley.com/Tutorials/StuTut/index.htm),) ZBrush FiberMesh, and even Modo hair guides.

(Note: In the past I primarily used Strand Modeler for short hair guides and Rail Cloning for long hair guides. At the moment, I'm primarily using ZBrush FiberMesh for all guides--the learning curve was high and the process is much more involved than using Edit Guides but the result can be pretty awesome. That said, I would love to be able to use Edit Gudes for fur and short hair--Edit Guides is much simpler to style with and shade with texture maps, and IMO using FiberMesh is going to be overkill in many situations. Hopefully, there's a service pack in the near future that will fix my flickering issue with Edit Guides fibers.)

BTW, FiberFX Strand Modeler generates the desired weight map as well.

G.

VermilionCat
02-10-2013, 06:33 AM
Okay, I'm back and it looks like I'm using a gradient with a weight map under Shape Retention. Depending on the look your going for, the gradient settings will require tweaking. For long hair, I set the gradient so that there is more stiffness at the base and less towards the tips--but not completely down to zero because I want the hair to more or less return to its original state when the character stops moving. When animating long hair, you may also want to use some Linear Stiffness and a little Dampening too. I'm using 50% and 2% respectively in the long hair example above but that will change when I start using real motions on the character. For Sister's hair, I'm also going to stiffen it a little more near the roots using the gradient in SR--that might work better for quick jerky motions, which she's doing a lot of in the film.

Good tips! Thanks.
So MeshFilter is simply on/off switch for Bullet then. Weight value is not concerned here.
Shape Retention and below is the key to the motion... right? Sorry for being persistent :)


I would agree--except for the network render flickering issue I kept running into, which may be a situation unique to my network because I haven't of anybody else running into this problem yet--and everybody who's tested this for me, including NewTek, says it works fine for them, so I'm at a loss.
Otherwise, normal LightWave BNR submit with LWSN-2 works fine with 11.5, and externally modeled guides work perfectly fine with FiberFX and LWSN-2.

I am not technical person either so hopefully someone can work out a solution for this. But it's good to hear BNR works fine. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. BNR blames on me for 'cannot find config' or something. I'll look into it.


In the past I primarily used Strand Modeler for short hair guides and Rail Cloning for long hair guides. At the moment, I'm primarily using ZBrush FiberMesh for all guides--the learning curve was high and the process is much more involved than using Edit Guides but the result can be pretty awesome. That said, I would love to be able to use Edit Gudes for fur and short hair--Edit Guides is much simpler to style with and shade with texture maps, and IMO using FiberMesh is going to be overkill in many situations.

Zbrush FiberMesh is a real relief for me as well.
I gave up on creating guide curves in LW since it's too tedious and a lot of guess work. But FiberMesh is almost WYSIWYG. It's amazing.

I'm looking forward to your short. They are very cute.

Greenlaw
02-10-2013, 07:37 AM
Good tips! Thanks.
So MeshFilter is simply on/off switch for Bullet then. Weight value is not concerned here.
Shape Retention and below is the key to the motion... right?
Yes. It was kinda the same with ClothFX--Fix Points was strictly off/on but you could use weight maps in the FX channels. In ClothFX, I typically used weight maps in one of the lower FX channels--sorry, can't remember which one exactly but whatever the 'obvious' one was wasn't actually the best choice. In general, I avoided using ClothFX directly on guides, preferring to use cage objects for efficiency and predictability--but so far my feeling is that none of these concerns will be necessary if you're using Bullet in 11.5.


I am not technical person either so hopefully someone can work out a solution for this. But it's good to hear BNR works fine. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. BNR blames on me for 'cannot find config' or something. I'll look into it.
Yes, it should work fine with 11.5. One quirk in the BNR LightWave config setup is that after you point BNR to the proper config directory, you need to click the Change button again to 'lock' it in. (It should look grayed out after you click it.) I also find that I need to sometimes click on BNR in the Task bar if the configuration process looks like it's stalled. Once I click, it continues on again. This might happen a couple of times during configuration. This behavior is nothing new (for me anyway)--I think it's been doing it for several versions now and I've sort of gotten used to it. Also, if you use exrTrader, you need to enable Image Filter Overrides Image Saver or you will get errors.


Zbrush FiberMesh is a real relief for me as well.
I gave up on creating guide curves in LW since it's too tedious and a lot of guess work. But FiberMesh is almost WYSIWYG. It's amazing.
Yes, I agree. I wish I had been more skilled with ZBrush FiberMesh a year ago--it could have sped things up a lot for me during the 'DmC' production. The hair for little girl and the Twins each took me almost a week to create using Rail Cloning plus a lot of tweaking after I applied FiberFX.

Since that time, I've gotten very comfortable with using FiberMesh. Besides the nice workflow, I love how I can easily go back and make changes, and the ability to export different densities of fibers as needed. Using FiberMesh nowadays, I could probably finish each hair style in a couple of workdays days, maybe sooner if I absolutely had to.

The 'gotcha' with FiberMesh is UV mapping because the ZBrush export is Curves. To work around this problem, I first convert the curves to 2-Point polygon guides using Strand Maker and then I select the root points and use a tool called DrainBGTextureUV (part of the mn_DrainBGVMap tools.) This is a 32-bit Modeler plug-in that lets you conform the root points of the FiberMesh guides to the source character's UV map--this is critical for creatures with a distinct pattern to their fur, like zebras, tigers, leopards, or cartoon cats like Sergeant and Toullie. For best performance, you will want to subdivide a copy of the source mesh a few times to get a more even distribution of the root points. As far as I know, this is the only way to conform root points from guide chains to an existing UV map in LightWave. I wish it was available for x64 though. (Thanks to Mike Green, a.k.a, 'Dodgy', for pointing me to this plug-in. Mike is hosting this 'orphaned' third party plug-in at his website: http://www.mikegreen.name/.)


I'm looking forward to your short. They are very cute.
Thanks! 'Brudders 2' has been coming along slowly but we're starting to see the light at the end. :)

G.

VermilionCat
02-10-2013, 08:30 AM
The 'gotcha' with FiberMesh is UV mapping because the ZBrush export is Curves. To work around this problem, I first convert the curves to 2-Point polygon guides using Strand Maker and then I select the root points and use a tool called DrainBGTextureUV (part of the mn_DrainBGVMap tools.) This is a 32-bit Modeler plug-in that lets you conform the root points of the FiberMesh guides to the source character's UV map--this is critical for creatures with a distinct pattern to their fur, like zebras, tigers, leopards, or cartoon cats like Sergeant and Toullie. For best performance, you will want to subdivide a copy of the source mesh a few times to get a more even distribution of the root points. (Thanks to Mike Green, a.k.a, 'Dodgy', for pointing me to this plug-in. Mike is hosting this 'orphaned' third party plug-in at his website: http://www.mikegreen.name/.) As far as I know, this is the only way to conform root points from guide chains to an existing UV map in LightWave. I wish it was available for x64 though.

This is vital information!
I've never used FiberMesh guides for short fur. Come to think of it, I had no idea how to colorize fur with those guides. Layout guides do this automatically. So you have to place root point onto the UV map. Good to know! Thanks!

Greenlaw
02-10-2013, 08:51 AM
Yes, I first ran into this situation during 'DmC'. It's hard to tell in the final renders but the twins each have a different colored strip that runs down the front of their hair and I had to create a special UV map for the roots to add the stripe. Not a big deal in this particular case but it could have been a much bigger deal for leopard or giraffe spots. I was thankful at the time that I wasn't asked to do that. :)

BTW, this is another reason why I hope Edit Guides will get fixed for my network rendering situation--this method is much easier to texture map since the fibers can pick up their color directly from the character's 'skin' texture.

G.

VermilionCat
02-10-2013, 11:49 PM
Yes, I first ran into this situation during 'DmC'. It's hard to tell in the final renders but the twins each have a different colored strip that runs down the front of their hair and I had to create a special UV map for the roots to add the stripe. Not a big deal in this particular case but it could have been a much bigger deal for leopard or giraffe spots. I was thankful at the time that I wasn't asked to do that. :)

BTW, this is another reason why I hope Edit Guides will get fixed for my network rendering situation--this method is much easier to texture map since the fibers can pick up their color directly from the character's 'skin' texture.

Thanks, Greenlaw. I learned a lot from you.


Also, if you use exrTrader, you need to enable Image Filter Overrides Image Saver or you will get errors.

BNR works fine now. Yay! Btw I thought this is no longer needed because you can now choose OpenExr Dummy in your output panel.

Greenlaw
02-11-2013, 12:07 AM
Thanks, Greenlaw. I learned a lot from you.
Sure, glad to help.


BNR works fine now. Yay! Btw I thought this is no longer needed because you can now choose OpenExr Dummy in your output panel.
I recently performed a clean reinstall of BNR and all I know is that if I don't have this switch enabled, the dummy saver cannot be seen by BNR and it errors out, and when it is enabled, the dummy saver points to exrTrader for output. At least that's how it works here.

G.