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View Full Version : LW IMPPOSIBLE THREAD 001: "Ocean of OIL" - Dynamic Fonts - Shader Morphing - Advanced



robertoortiz
09-19-2013, 03:41 PM
“The devil is in the details”
German Proverb
Rob Note: as the day Goes Along I will be posting more support materials for the project.

Ok guys as promised this is the LW Impossible thread. The project I came up with looks easy at a first glance, but once you read the requests from all the parties involved (the Director/Art director/ TD) the picture becomes bit more complicated.


The idea to imagine an efficient workflow to handle the kind of requirements a small studio gets.
The thread is called LW impossible for a reason , because there are elements in this project that were delivery added because I know that Lightwave will have problems with them. In this case the FONT manipulation, Shader/Object Morphing and the On the fly Vector conversion.

The point of these threads is not to trash LW, me or the efforts of the development team
Or worst to fan wank another APP (Blender I am looking at you) because it would be better suited to do this project.
(As in just get licenses of Houdini for all the staff and call it a day)

The idea of this silly FAKE project is to imagine a more efficient LW.


I cannot stress enough that this is NOT a real project, and I don’t expect ANYONE to do, but is a reasonable facsimile of the jobs we get at my small studio.

And yes the CORE (pun intended) idea is to imagine doing a project like this in Lightwave from the ground up.
How can Lightwave 12.X help you accomplish an HARD project like the one described below?


Ok lets start:

Imagine you have a small 4 person LW ONLY shop and you get this commission from a big client.
Say, Discovery Networks.
And you got ONLY one month.
All the renders will be delivered in HD.



The project in a nutshell:
A one minute animation about the gas station industry to be used for a TV documentary.
The animation will be of a flyover over a OIL ocean, that will have 100's of gas pumps floating in
formation on top of it.



The gas pumps will be displayed in formation, and the lead pump for each column will have
Company Logo (in 3d) on top, the year of the pump (also in 3d) just below it and under it the pump.

The year being displayed on the front row will start counting up from 1910 to the present, and the FONT will change depending onthe decade (see the art director notes). Also the oil company logo will change depending on the appropriate yearthat it changed. For example, if Texaco changed its log in 1956, the logo should change when the count up year display reaches that year. Also the pumps should change depending on the year.

The client has requested that he wants ONE COMPANY LOGO PER COLUMN.

For more information on this fake project I am providing:
(This is real)
Logo Bible
Art Director Bible
Script
Storyboards

(This is fake)

Client is providing the following assets for the project:


3D ASSETS:

1910 Gas Pump
1940 Gas Pump
1960 Gas Pump
1980 Gas Pump
1990 Gas Pump
2000 Gas Pump
2010+ Future Concept Gas Pump


FONTS:
True type fonts
for:
Times New Roman
Futura
Peignot
Flieger Pro
Eurostyle Font
Avant Garde Gothic.
Avant-Garde Font
Font Haus
Helvetica

2D Art Assets:
10 Gas companies will be used for the logo.
Each brand has between 5- 10 logo evolutions (the amount varies) also the YEAR the logo evolved changes.
That means the project will be dealing between 100- 200 logos.

We are providing all logos, and their individual evolutions as PDF files with a Alpha channel (Converted/Created in Adobe Illustrator CS6)




Technical Director's Notes:
Project Challenges;
The project will be done 100% in Lightwave.
From the script review I can foresee some problems already..

- Art directable Volumetric Clouds
- Shading ("Oil Sheen")- Shading Morphing (BLACK OIL --> Clear Gasoline ---> Multiple SOLID Materials)
- Dynamic Typography (See Art Director Notes on the script)
- Precise Instancing controls
- Automatic Logo 3d Conversion from Vector files.
- Ocean Waves and interaction with Instanced objects (see Director's Notes)
- The gas pumps models will be MORPHING not fading between the models.

Also since we do not have a lot of time, we will NOT do ANY compositing work. -My call.
(Rob note: I added that because sometimes the Tech director asks for something loopy)

Ok guys

That is it.
Oh and to add insult to injury, the director might request to art direct ANY ELEMENT in the shot. So keep that in mind.

Please let’s keep the discussion light and fun.
This thread is not to discuss the ongoing failures of NewTek as a company or the amount of time I have wasted in this effort or why even bother doing it in LW, since i should be doing this in Houdini. I get that, and that is not the point of this exercise. I believe strongly that you learn more by failure.

So lets have fun trouble solving an impossible fake project and coming up with ways to make things EASIER and more EFFICIENT.




Later,

-Roberto

robertoortiz
09-20-2013, 06:01 AM
Lets talk Dynamic Fonts
I am sorry for the info dump guys, But I wanted to show the kind of requirements we get all the time.
Lets focus the conversation and concentrate on ONE thing.

On the script hidden within it there is requirement for a count-up clock.It counted from
1911 to the present.
The thing is that the clock has to change font types every decade
The fonts would be.
Times New Roman
Futura
Peignot
Flieger Pro
Eurostyle Font
Avant Garde Gothic.
Avant-Garde Font
Font Haus
Helvetica

This is somethign that After effect could od with ease, but the client wants the text to interact with the environment.

How could Lw implement this?

-R

djwaterman
09-21-2013, 03:54 AM
My first suggestion would be to drop the requirement to do it all in LW without compositing. Why not take advantage of one of LW's strength, it's ability to work with After Effects. The morphs could also be done in After Effects and the volumetric clouds. All the 3D text, logos, number counts and so on. It's crazy to think doing it all without compositing is going to save time, that's my thoughts on it, I guess it depends on the studio's work-flow.

prometheus
09-21-2013, 06:48 AM
Do people actually have time to go through this?
The intention is good and understandable...but...

prometheus
09-21-2013, 06:51 AM
Do people actually have time to go through this?
The intention is good and understandable...but...

cloud fan as I am ..curious about "art directable clouds" and what you mean would be an issue?
If we are allowed too, and count in turbulencFD as a pack to use with it, (Houdini got it´s built in tools but at a cost)
Then turbulenFD clouds would be highly directable, since you could see them in open gl, and also use shapes to fill volumes etc.

Michael

robertoortiz
09-21-2013, 07:46 AM
Do people actually have time to go through this?
The intention is good and understandable...but...

cloud fan as I am ..curious about "art directable clouds" and what you mean would be an issue?
If we are allowed too, and count in turbulencFD as a pack to use with it, (Houdini got it´s built in tools but at a cost)
Then turbulenFD clouds would be highly directable, since you could see them in open gl, and also use shapes to fill volumes etc.

Michael

My friend you are right. As soon as I posted it I thought...
Maybe I over did it . Ahh I do love that tunnel vision I get sometimes.

Anyway that for starting the ball ball rolling with the clouds requirement.
So let imagine I ask to the so called team about what they want the clouds to do.

I would get something like this:

The Director would want:
He wants to transition from a Cloudy sky (Clear Slow Moving Clouds) to a dark stormy sky (Fast Moving Storm Clouds).

The Art Director would want:
Control over the shapes of INDIVIDUAL clouds and its transformations. To be able to art direct shape an color of specific clouds.


The Technical Director would want:
To be able to control things over the clouds at a group and individual level. To be able to select the number of clouds, their shadows, and the level of volume per cloud.




BTW djwaterman you are spot on. To do the project that I described as LW only project would be a fools quest.
But,believe or not, the LW only requirement was added to simplify this whole "lets image cool features" process. In the near future I was hoping to do another one of these LW impossible threads around composting requirements with other apps like After Effect. Nuke or Fussion. (Hell I need it, I do a TON of AE work).
And to be frank I wanted to force the issue of the antiquated text tools LW has. I wanted to show the kind of HEAVY 3d text project I could foresee getting in the future.

jeric_synergy
09-21-2013, 10:58 AM
With the proviso that a compositor WOULD be used (too stupid otherwise), here's a question about the font change (which one should NOT ask the art director so as not to give him/her ideas that can be stated in seconds but take weeks to implement):

HOW does the font change? Does it fade out/in, crossfade, morph, move, or what?

Does Object Replacement still work? Once the timing is nailed down, appropriate filenames could be made for simple object replacment on the dates. --It's always been a clumsy interface IMO. Better would be a Replacement that is tied to a null's location. Do we have a facility for that?

Waves of light
09-21-2013, 12:28 PM
Subscribed out of interest.

geo_n
09-21-2013, 01:16 PM
not sure text morphing from one font to another is possible without manually doing it. Fonts have different number of points in each letter making it unsuitable for morphing.
Not sure even c4d can do a font to font morph by real polygons. Polyfx is particle morph.

jeric_synergy
09-21-2013, 01:31 PM
not sure text morphing from one font to another is possible without manually doing it.
Why I asked. Once can either say "no can do" to the director at that point, or add another piece of s/w.

What I'd do is suggest a variety of approaches you COULD do in LW, like flipping it on the X quickly, and swapping at a 90° point where it'd be least noticeable.

I hate it when directors/art directors INSIST on some stupid thing that's enormously laborious, and that goes by in 2 frames and nobody is ever going to notice.

robertoortiz
09-23-2013, 11:16 AM
Why I asked. Once can either say "no can do" to the director at that point, or add another piece of s/w.

What I'd do is suggest a variety of approaches you COULD do in LW, like flipping it on the X quickly, and swapping at a 90° point where it'd be least noticeable.

I hate it when directors/art directors INSIST on some stupid thing that's enormously laborious, and that goes by in 2 frames and nobody is ever going to notice.

Trust me I know how you feel. But a lot of us have to deal with CRAZY client demands. What I wish is for apps like LW to be more nimble on their feet.

Anyway, lets say I don’t have a choice in the matter, and the text needs to be rendered in LW in different fonts.
HOW I WOULD DO IT NOW:

I would generate each letter in individually and save them as object sequences. And I would not even try to do a morph between the different font styles

WHAT I WISH I COULD DO:

I wish we could have a text OBJECT in layout that would allow it to use the TTF from the machine.
I imagine that it could have attributes like:

TEXT OBJECT
FONT *
STYLE *
KERNING *
CONTENT * (Text, Data or Expressions)
Z AXIS *
BEVEL *

DEFORMER GRID #(X)
DEFORMER GRID #(Y)
DEFORMER GRID # (Z)
* = Allows it to modify it in the timeline.


OUTPUT ---> 3D Object / TEXTURE

FOR 3D Object Output
Each letter would have an individual UV MAP

FOR TEXTURE Output
The texture could be used in place of a regular image map.


And to be able to modify it using lattice style deformers (The p# of control points would be defined on the deformer grid).

And of course If I wish to use the text object as a regular object, I wish I could use the "Save Transformed" option.

jeric_synergy
09-23-2013, 12:41 PM
roberto, you still haven't defined how the transition 'works'- fade, crossfade, morf, move..... whatever.

I don't think you'd request a Universal Morph, since by all experience nobody can code that.

I'm not sure why you'd want to generate each 'letter' individually, why not the entire 4-letter sequence? (I think 'glyph' is the technical term, includes letters+numbers+punctuation)

I have a feeling Denis could make this happen, but he probably shouldn't: there's better uses of his time, even though I want better text handling. C4D is smoking LW in that respect fer sure.

robertoortiz
09-23-2013, 12:47 PM
Ok after talking to the project Technical Director (This is fantasy of course, after all this is a fake project)

He has stated that be no morph. He wants straight cuts transiting between font styles.


And about how this should de done...
HOW I WOULD DO IT NOW:
You got a point, it would be easier just to do the whole years object sequences as one object.
WHAT I WISH I COULD DO:
I do think that newtek should develop tools that allow more flexibility for text handling.
I firmly belive that any upgrade to the LW text engine should be done in LAYOUT and it should allow for TIMELINE editing of its attributes.

The point of this project is to show the kind of project I get asked to do all the time that require me to use text .

tbagger
09-23-2013, 01:01 PM
Why not use other software that excels in the areas that are needed. If you are waiting for lw to have all the capabilities of the other apps... you will die first.

Use LW for what it is good and fast at... Use other software to do what LW cant. If your clients are so picky, and you are affiliated with the "US government" you should have no trouble spending our tax money on Houdini or other app.

jeric_synergy
09-23-2013, 01:07 PM
While I would agree that timeline animation of fonts in Layout would be nice (and I'd like a pony too), there's PLENTY of room for improvement in text in Modeler. Just ask Dave Gerrard-- he'll send you a book.

And I think we could get improvements in LWM (like FIND ALL THE DAMN FONTS) a lot faster than a Swiss-army knife of text capabilities in Layout: there's been a real reluctance for dynamic geometry in Layout, I don't know if that's due to technical limitations or what, but it's fer sure a real reluctance.

robertoortiz
09-23-2013, 01:22 PM
To nawer the question by tbagger I do use other sofware, all the time.


The point of the thread is to brainstorm ideas about Lightwave, by spotlighting the shortomings it ha in a constructive fashion.
We know about the barn door size limitations, like the character animation tools , but I wanted to spotlight the other areas that need to be updated. Like its text engine.


And why not image a next gen workflow. Insteand of playing catchup with other apps, try to innovate. Go for the golden ring if you have nothing to lose, as they say.
And yes, I do want the pony too.

jeric_synergy
09-23-2013, 01:29 PM
There's so many desirable features for static text that a separate program that output in every mesh flavor would be appropriate, IMO.

For instance, auto-applying edge profiles.

Actually, now I'm wondering if a standalone 3D universal text generator already exists.... (???)...

++
GENERALLY, more modeling functions in Layout would make me happier. IF they happened to use the Timeline, all the better.

KurtF
09-26-2013, 08:16 PM
Zaxwerks ProModeler. Been around for years and still incredibly useful, especially for broadcast motion graphics.

http://zaxwerks.com/promodeler/index.shtml