PDA

View Full Version : Fiber FX hair out of control



Underdog
08-08-2014, 11:06 PM
The hair for my model was made using the Fiber FX interface without guides. I was able to animate the character, and the hair would follow the XYZ of the head, keeping its original shape: Exactly what I wanted.

Wrapping up the character - from one moment to the other - the hair is no longer keeping its shape when animating. As far as I can tell, I have not changed any settings, but something happened.

It worked flawlessfly from the start, and now I can't get it under control. What is the most likely culprit, here?

Kaptive
08-09-2014, 07:23 AM
The most likely culprit is FiberFX.

I know that this is a really unhelpful answer, and I only really say it as a joke... but not really...
FiberFX isn't great, and tends to crash a lot whenever I've tried to use it. Hair is something that needs serious attention in LW now that we don't have Sasquatch or Shave and haircut. In fact, beyond FiberFX, the options for creating hair in Lightwave are almost non existent.

Can you go back to an earlier save and recover it?

stephefrank
08-09-2014, 07:38 AM
fiberfx is added in lightwave just for the sake of showing "hair/fur" in feature list .. fibrefx is poorly designed and if someone is thinking of doing serious work with it is wasting his/her time.

Underdog
08-09-2014, 09:26 AM
Ouch, I sort of have an ambition to make an animated movie, here... Going back to an earlier version is probably the best option. The character really looked good and worked well, and now I'm set back two weeks or more. Ouch again!

Thank you very much for your comments!

Surrealist.
08-09-2014, 09:30 AM
Also a much better workflow for animation is to actually use geometry guides and use cloth and collision for dynamics. I find it is easier to control and you have more options with controlling a cloth object.

sampei
08-09-2014, 10:02 AM
how about saving the old profile from the ffx pixel filter and loading into the latest scene, wouldn't that work? anyway if you use the forum advanced search you can find some useful information regarding fiber fx.

Underdog
08-09-2014, 10:49 AM
how about saving the old profile from the ffx pixel filter and loading into the latest scene, wouldn't that work? anyway if you use the forum advanced search you can find some useful information regarding fiber fx.

Thank you very much! I have been searching for the past 48 hours, and just found this (http://bit.ly/1kRvciM) post, from which I will be following the advice by Splinegod:

«Why not just create the hair as a solid mesh and use a texture to get the hairs?
You could UV map the hair texture onto the geometry.»

I am not planning on any close-up shots of the hair, and think Splinegod's advice is the better solution for my movie. FiberFX hair looked great on my model, but I must move on with the project. FiberFX was simply too much trouble and stole way too much time. It will be interesting to see what Newtek can do to improve this feature.


I am really appreciative of the great feedback from the forum - thanks all!

Greenlaw
08-09-2014, 10:58 AM
FWIW, I've use FiberFX in two short productions--DmC - Devil May Cry theatrical trailer, Brudders 2 (https://vimeo.com/channels/littlegreendog/68543424) (okay, technically the second one is still in production)--and I'm currently using it for a small critter in a feature film. No, FiberFX is not a perfect workflow but it certainly works, and it has worked well for me anyway.

I don't know if this will help in your case but I can think of a couple of things that may cause the fibers to not move with the character. Some may not have anything to do with FiberFX.

Are you using dynamics on the guides? If you're using Bullet Cloth, ClothFX or SyFlex be sure to bake the sim of the guides to .mdd. Otherwise, you may need to reset and run the sim again if the scene has somehow lost its cache data. Because of this, it's generally recommended that you hold off doing hair sims until after animation is signed off on, and bake the final simulation so you don't lose it.

If the hair/fur guides are 'external' (a separate object) make sure you have Use Bones From for the object set to reference the object that owns the rig. Otherwise, the bones will not deform the hair/fur. If the item with the rig is parented to a null or another object, then the guides object will also need to share the same parent.

If the object is short 'head hair', you might consider parenting the object directly to the head bone instead--this is less cpu intensive for Bullet and general animation. Note that parenting to a bone will not deform the guides with the skin but, depending on your character, that might not be necessary. It's what I did for Sister's hair in the B2 excerpt. Here's the original hair test from a couple of years ago when Bullet Deforming mode was introduced: 'Sister' Hair Test Using Bullet Dynamics In Lightwave 11.5 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-kQRSsaCpg&list=UUxrvCvVImswWPbS9WgtTNqA) (See also: Sister's First Motion Test (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jASC8IOsIqY&list=UUxrvCvVImswWPbS9WgtTNqA).)

If you're using the native Layout guides, the fibers should move with the mesh since the virtual guides are directly attached. I've had good luck with this in the past but before rendering, I make sure I bake the character/guides to .mdd. This ensures that all render nodes get the correct hair/fur displacement for each frame.

Good luck!

(We now return this thread to the regularly scheduled feeding frenzy.) :)

G.

Greenlaw
08-09-2014, 11:03 AM
Oh, and if you're using Bullet, be sure to remove all items from Bullet after you bake you're sim. There's no point in having Bullet continue calculating the scene or streaming it's cache if the animation is baked--that's just a waste of time, cpu usage, and you may be courting errors.

To keep things simple and efficient, I like to do my sim setup in a separate scene and import the resulting .mdd to my final render scene when ready. Actually, I go one step further: Sim scene, .mdd bake scene, and then the final render scene. This way I can easily go back to any stage without reconfiguring for the task at hand.

Also, if you haven't baked your hair sim and are relying on the sim cache, a corrupt cache file could keep the hair from moving. Just a thought. In this case, you'll need to reset and re-sim. (And bake when you're done.)

G.

Greenlaw
08-09-2014, 11:21 AM
Also, I recommend using 11.5.1 for FiberFX because 11.6 has an issue when using network rendering. I think 11.6 FiberFX is okay for local renders though. Hopefully well see a fix for this very soon. (Siggraph? Just speculation.)

G.

Underdog
08-09-2014, 11:32 AM
Oh, and if you're using Bullet, be sure to remove all items from Bullet after you bake you're sim. There's no point in having Bullet continue calculating the scene or streaming it's cache if the animation is baked--that's just a waste of time, cpu usage, and you may be courting errors.

To keep things simple and efficient, I like to do my sim setup in a separate scene and import the resulting .mdd to my final render scene when ready. Actually, I go one step further: Sim scene, .mdd bake scene, and then the final render scene. This way I can easily go back to any stage without reconfiguring for the task at hand.

Also, if you haven't baked your hair sim and are relying on the sim cache, a corrupt cache file could keep the hair from moving. Just a thought. In this case, you'll need to reset and re-sim. (And bake when you're done.)

G.

Thank you very much for your comprehensive answer! I did not use guides the first time around, but simply parented the surface to the body containing the rig and added the bone reference. It worked and appeared to be stable. Now it doesn't.


So far the following has failed:

1. Inserting saved *.ffs files
2. Deactivating and creating new fibers
3. Creating a complete new scene from scratch
4. I also tried parenting the object directly to the bone. Same result...
5. Tested the scene in a fresh install of LW


I am not familiar using guides, but would like to try. What is, in your opinion, the best tutorial around?

Thank you.

Kaptive
08-09-2014, 11:42 AM
No, FiberFX is not a perfect workflow but it certainly works, and it has worked well for me anyway.

Hehe, I'm sure it does work with enough time and patience, it just feels like building a house of cards while blindfolded. I didn't mean to hit on it really, it's just so messy to work with relative to the majority of other things in Lightwave.
Lightwave is grand scale problem solving, and it feels like you haven't got many places to turn when trying to solve strangeness and oddities in FiberFX. It'd just be nice if it could be made solid, reliable and easier to use, maybe make it look and act better too... not much to ask, surely? ;D haha.

I've actually got a long term project that will need hair eventually. I'm just praying that by the time that comes around there will be a better solution for LW.

Underdog
08-09-2014, 11:59 AM
... it's just so messy to work with relative to the majority of other things in Lightwave Well put - I love LW and usually get the hang of things pretty fast. FiberFX, however - what a mess! That said, I'm not giving up and hope to have more success using guides.

sampei
08-09-2014, 12:01 PM
I am not familiar using guides, but would like to try. What is, in your opinion, the best tutorial around?

Thank you.

these cover Strand Modeler nicely:

Fiber Tab:
Right-Click Here to save (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/LW_9/StrandModeler_FiberTab.mov)

Guides Tab:
Right-Click Here to save (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/LW_9/StrandModeler_GuidesTab.mov)

Random Tab:
Right-Click Here to save (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/LW_9/StrandModeler_RandomTab.mov)

Gravity Tab:
Right-Click Here to save (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/LW_9/StrandModeler_GravityTab.mov)

I actually quite like strand modeler except the rotation is odd and I can't seem to get used to it...I was wondering why in the world it's not the same as in the perspective viewport.
Anyhow if you have time I recommend going through all of these:

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?89494-Over-2-Hours-of-Free-FiberFX-Videos



I've actually got a long term project that will need hair eventually. I'm just praying that by the time that comes around there will be a better solution for LW.

I would not hold my breath, if you only have LW it might be worth having a look at sasquatch, as I understand it's more reliable and from the gallery over at worley labs it looks capable of much better looking results (although this may or may not depend on the visual style of your project).

Greenlaw
08-09-2014, 12:28 PM
@Underdog: So you're not using guides at all, just straight surface based fibers? That's pretty strange that they're not moving with the mesh. Maybe I'm not understanding the problem. Could you post a render?

Just wondering but which version of Lightwave are you using? In 11.0, I found FiberFX was somewhat usable but unstable for production work; if you're using version 10 or earlier, you should consider Sasquatch instead (although you may limited to using Classic camera for proper alpha channels.)

In my experience, FiberFX didn't become production ready until 11.5 (sp3?), and the Layout guides system was much improved in 11.5.1 when they switched to embedding styles as vmaps in the .lwo file, instead of the .lws file. FYI, I don't recommend embedding multiple styles in the object file though--the last time I tried that, it seemed a bit sketchy. It's probably better to just use a different mesh for each style.

G.

Underdog
08-09-2014, 12:28 PM
Fantastic! We are just getting started making a feature animated movie based on the 1981 album «Kiss - The Elder», so yes - hair will be important. I can't wait to get that hair under control. The attached picture is an early test render, using surface based FiberFX, without guides.

123587

Underdog
08-09-2014, 12:33 PM
@Underdog: So you're not using guides at all, just straight surface based fibers? That's pretty strange that they're not moving with the mesh. Maybe I'm not understanding the problem. Could you post a render?

Just wondering but which version of Lightwave are you using? Prior to 11.5, I found FiberFX was somewhat usable but unstable for production work; if you're using version 10 or earlier, you should consider Sasquatch instead (although you may limited to using Classic camera for proper alpha channels.) FiberFX Layout guides became much improved by 11.5.1 when they switched to embedding the styles as vmaps in the object file. FYI, I don't recommend embedding multiple styles in the object file though--the last time I tried that, it seemed a bit sketchy. It's probably better to just use a different mesh for each style.

G.

Yes, I don't get i either. Using 11.5. I had just put the final touches (not this render) on the hair when it all came down like a house of cards.... It's past bedtime here, but I will be looking into your FiberFX tutorials tomorrow.

Thanks a LOT!

123588

Greenlaw
08-09-2014, 12:40 PM
As for requiring 'patience', I don't find FiberFX all that difficult to use. However, the documentation does lack a lot of practical information and examples. Hopefully, LW3DG is working on improved FiberFX docs.

The way I learned was mostly by sharing examples and info with other FiberFX users. (Dodgy, Cel-Shader, etc.)

G.

Greenlaw
08-09-2014, 01:02 PM
If you click on the production log (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?133274-The-Brudders-2-Production-Log-%28Well-sort-of-%29) link below, you might find a few useful FiberFX tips and tricks. Keep in mind that some of the earlier information may be dated or obsolete--it's been well over a year since I've been actively updating log for my FiberFX experiments. (I recently started using FiberFX again at my day job--I may have new tips to share if I can make time for it. Will post there when I can.)

G.

Dodgy
08-09-2014, 07:09 PM
If you're using FFX from a surface, the biggest change is the styling is now saved in custom Vmaps rather than in the scene, so you need to save the object as well as the scene to keep your styling. You can also convert the styles to guides in layout should you want to apply dynamics later. Other than that, I haven't experienced hair wandering away like this.

Underdog
08-10-2014, 12:18 AM
these cover Strand Modeler nicely:

Fiber Tab:
Right-Click Here to save (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/LW_9/StrandModeler_FiberTab.mov)

Guides Tab:
Right-Click Here to save (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/LW_9/StrandModeler_GuidesTab.mov)

Random Tab:
Right-Click Here to save (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/LW_9/StrandModeler_RandomTab.mov)

Gravity Tab:
Right-Click Here to save (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/LW_9/StrandModeler_GravityTab.mov)

I actually quite like strand modeler except the rotation is odd and I can't seem to get used to it...I was wondering why in the world it's not the same as in the perspective viewport.
Anyhow if you have time I recommend going through all of these:

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?89494-Over-2-Hours-of-Free-FiberFX-Videos



I would not hold my breath, if you only have LW it might be worth having a look at sasquatch, as I understand it's more reliable and from the gallery over at worley labs it looks capable of much better looking results (although this may or may not depend on the visual style of your project).

Awesome tutorials! I spent 30 minutes watching them, applied the techniques - and - it worked. You saved me - and hopefully some other people as well!

Thank you very much!

sampei
08-10-2014, 03:54 AM
you're welcome Underdog, keep up the good work ;)

Greenlaw
08-10-2014, 05:39 AM
Good luck with your project. Rock and roll all nite! :)

Julez4001
08-15-2014, 01:55 AM
Sasquatch is rock solid and production ready.

DigitalSorcery8
08-15-2014, 02:11 AM
from which I will be following the advice by Splinegod:

«Why not just create the hair as a solid mesh and use a texture to get the hairs?
You could UV map the hair texture onto the geometry.»

Something like this image? This is my main character with texture-mapped hair onto polygons. It worked great even with close-ups. I did end up using both Sasquatch in a couple of scenes and FiberFX in a couple of scenes that required severely wind-blown hair, but IMO FiberFX isn't ready.

Greenlaw
08-15-2014, 03:44 AM
I used to love using Sasquatch--I used it on dozens of TV commercials and video game cinematics and trailers. Here's an example where I used Sas for critter fur: Crash Bandioot: Mind Over Mutant Commercial (http://forums.newtek.com/newreply.php?do=postreply&t=142941)

But nowadays Sasquatch has some significant limitations that keep me away: it uses shadow maps for shadows, is incompatible with modern Lightwave lighting tools, requires Classic Camera for proper AA and alpha channels, it's incompatible with VPR and it does not support motion vectors for buffer exports. These are the reasons I switched to FiberFX a couple of years ago--if FiberFX had not been working when I did the hair fx for the DmC (Devil May Cry) theatrical cinematic, we probably would have moved away from Lightwave.

I really like using FiberFX but the one thing I miss about Sasquatch is the auto combing option. It wasn't necessarily realistic but it got you to a very good place for animal fur very quickly. That said, I do find combing animal fur with Edit Guides is pretty fast. Just don't forget to save your object file before quitting Layout. :)

These days I sometimes use FiberMesh for creating guides for FiberFX. It's a bit more tricky that Edit Guides but the results can be worth it, especially for long hair styles. But if I'm pressed for time (and I usually am,) I will fall back to Edit Guides or Strand Modeler. (Except for styling long hair--FiberMesh really is fantastic for that.)

Way back when I used Sasquatch, I also sometimes used polygonal strips for hair. With proper shading, it can be pretty convincing.

G.