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Dan_Ritchie
09-01-2014, 12:09 PM
After a recent landscape project, I began to think it would be helpful to have a thread on techniques for instance creation and distrobution. While instances in LW are quite powerful, there are times when creating and distrobuting them can be difficult or too slow to be practical.

Below is a terrain I created. My goal was to populate it with .5 million instances. Rendering was not a problem, but the scene takes 20 minutes to load, and that eats into render time. The loading time is spent re-distributing all of the instances in the scene all over again. (It sure would be nice to be able to save an instancing solution out)

123986

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Sensei
09-01-2014, 02:45 PM
Automatic redistribution won't avoid overlaps, so many of them will be unneeded.

See mine video tutorial how to avoid overlaps.
And scene would load very quickly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6p-Cm_PFyc

CaptainMarlowe
09-01-2014, 10:57 PM
Nice technique ! I always tend to work with weight maps for populating my landscapes, but I'll definitely give a go to this technique. Thanks for sharing.

Sensei
09-02-2014, 04:53 AM
Yet another technique,
this time using TrueArt's AutoUpdateImages (http://autoupdateimages.trueart.eu)

Paint instances in Adobe Photoshop, and see them instantly in VPR and LW viewport..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaGwI93Kw18

Similar way you can paint colorful textures or bump maps.

Unfortunately it's not for you Paul, because AutoUpdateImages is Windows exclusive tool.

raw-m
09-02-2014, 06:21 AM
Another vote here for adding points in Modeller. Sensei's Spray Points is a fantastic plugin. If not, you could always create a
Point Cloud and Heat Shrink them to geometry and use Merge Points with a set distance to thin down.

Looking forward to Hurley's Advanced Placement when that comes out.

Dan_Ritchie
09-02-2014, 10:26 AM
Are there any techniques that let you work with an image mask? Say, one of the snow boundry?

Greenlaw
09-02-2014, 11:35 AM
Some more options: I used to use Pavel Olas' Random Cloner to place points on terrain. Before running Random cloner for point distribution, I would usually delete polygons from regions where I did not want points to gather, like roads and areas for building structures. Then I would go in with a lasso tool to remove any extra points I didn't want. The process could be completed in a few minutes.

There are other variations of this trick you can do using Heat Shrink or Place Mesh in Modeler, or using dynamics in Layout to lay down your points and saving out the point cloud using Save Transformed. Depending on what you need, some methods may be more or less efficient than others.

The ideal tool for this sort of thing is going to be Steve Hurley's Advanced Placement tool. This tool uses dynamics to let you paint instances on your objects. It even recognizes collision for instances so you can prevent object penetration as you paint. For more info go here: Advanced Placement (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?140702-Advanced-Placement-for-LW-11-6-2/page6&highlight=advanced+placement). It's not available yet but I think he's trying to wrap it up for release later this year.

G.

CaptainMarlowe
09-02-2014, 11:47 AM
Yep, and between true art's modeling pack and advanced placement just for getting "spray bg points" (no offense, Senseï), having to make a choice, I would certainly run for advanced placement (as a matter fo fact, I have already saved the cash for the special introductory price) which is more suited for the kind of scenes I do.

prometheus
09-02-2014, 02:50 PM
Are there any techniques that let you work with an image mask? Say, one of the snow boundry?


of course there is...why donīt you?
or is there some special issue with that? theres not any special technique for that...
just add image maps in the weight texture channel, automatic size, use black and white images and invert the map depending on how you want it, use a lot of instances to see it properly.

prometheus
09-02-2014, 02:56 PM
Yet another technique,
this time using TrueArt's AutoUpdateImages (http://autoupdateimages.trueart.eu)

Paint instances in Adobe Photoshop, and see them instantly in VPR and LW viewport..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaGwI93Kw18



Similar way you can paint colorful textures or bump maps.

Unfortunately it's not for you Paul, because AutoUpdateImages is Windows exclusive tool.

perhaps could work with sculptris smoothly too?, when painting to a texture map from within that, so you paint the map distribution in full 3d, question is if it update the saved texture
directly after saving?

Sensei
09-02-2014, 03:04 PM
AutoUpdateImages will work with everything what works when you press "Reload" manually in Image Editor, after making change to image file. This tool is doing so automatically after detecting change to file on disk.

Dan_Ritchie
09-02-2014, 03:29 PM
>>Are there any techniques that let you work with an image mask? Say, one of the snow boundry?

>of course there is...why donīt you?
or is there some special issue with that? theres not any special technique for that...
just add image maps in the weight texture channel, automatic size, use black and white images and invert the map depending on how you want it, use a lot of instances to see it properly.

As I outlined in my original post, it is taking 20 minutes to load the scene and I never reached my 1/2 million instance goal.

Dan_Ritchie
09-02-2014, 05:43 PM
was there any audio on this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6p-Cm_PFyc

Sensei
09-02-2014, 05:47 PM
No. My videos don't have audio. You wouldn't understand Polish anyway ;)

OFF
09-02-2014, 09:16 PM
the scene takes 20 minutes to load
Try to turn off all instances preview, set the viewport as wireframe or point type? turn off (in display/GL options) texture, transparency, etc. Check enable "image caching" - it must be "off".

jeric_synergy
09-02-2014, 11:26 PM
Dang, that TrueArts "Spray Points" tool seems VERY useful!! Well done, Sensei!

aquinde
09-03-2014, 09:55 AM
I really hope TrueArts comes out with Mac versions of their plugins someday.

Sensei
09-03-2014, 10:39 AM
???
TrueArt plugins are almost all available for Macintosh.
Except the one that are using Windows OS functions directly.
AutoUpdateImages is one of those.

aquinde
09-03-2014, 10:47 AM
Ah, my mistake. I'll be taking a closer look at the Modeling pack then ^_^


???
TrueArt plugins are almost all available for Macintosh.
Except the one that are using Windows OS functions directly.
AutoUpdateImages is one of those.

jeric_synergy
09-03-2014, 10:48 AM
Ah, my mistake. I'll be taking a closer look at the Modeling pack then ^_^
I'm interested in knowing why the mis-understanding?

aquinde
09-03-2014, 11:07 AM
I'm interested in knowing why the mis-understanding?

Its probably because I didn't see the Mac version when I saw a price promo on the Lightwave Mailing List.

Sensei
09-03-2014, 11:18 AM
I bought Mini Mac Dual Core in 2007. It's used exclusively for compiling MacOS UB LightWave plugins.

In the main list of TrueArt plugins there are icons for Windows 32 bit, Windows 64 bit and MacOS UB 32/64 bit telling on which platform plugin is working.

raw-m
09-03-2014, 11:22 AM
Sorry, way off topic. Sensei - are your Align Items for Layout plugins now Mac compatible? If so, where can I get them? I've purchased the Modeling Pack in the past and would love these to work!

Dan_Ritchie
09-04-2014, 03:40 PM
Try to turn off all instances preview, set the viewport as wireframe or point type? turn off (in display/GL options) texture, transparency, etc. Check enable "image caching" - it must be "off".

turning off previews certainly helps with interactivity, but no help with load times. What does "Image caching" Do?

jeric_synergy
09-04-2014, 03:43 PM
I'm kinda surprised the LOADING, per se, is slow: are you just informally talking about the, ahhh, populating phase of the process?

Sorry to be so pendantic, but it might make a difference.

OFF
09-04-2014, 06:08 PM
What does "Image caching" Do?
In general, it is devised to facilitate the loading of scenes, but often works in the opposite direction. This option is invoked by pressing the "D" - in one of the tabs, below.

erikals
09-04-2014, 11:53 PM
wonder if DP instancer has better load times, maybe not, might very well be the same...
http://dpont.pagesperso-orange.fr/plugins/DP_Instance.html