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itchy
09-07-2014, 11:31 PM
I'm looking for a way to do this:
I have a vine made in Ivy generator. The leaves are all 2 tri polys. I'd like them to be one planer quad. If I merge the tri's they all become non-planar quads with normals facing all different directions. Is there a LW tool or plug that might scale each poly, all at once, along their normal. Or a tool that would scale each 2 poly island along whatever the normal would be when considering the two tri's each have normals that are different. The easiest way of course would be if the Ivy generator would export quads but I see no way to do that. Any ideas?

Surrealist.
09-07-2014, 11:48 PM
If you have latest version of LW there are the tools for this.

In older versions there is Translate Plus.

http://www.timaxmedia.com/html/help/Translate_Plus_Tool.htm

itchy
09-08-2014, 12:47 AM
Looks like Translate Plus will do this one poly at a time. Tedious. I have LW 11.6.3, what new tools are you referring to?

Surrealist.
09-08-2014, 03:01 AM
In LIghtWave I am not aware of anything that will allow you to do this on multiple polys at one time. Maybe there is a plugin or something I am not aware of. What you are looking for is something that will allow you to scale locally and with individual origins.

Screengrab from Blender

124090

Setting is origin to "individual origins" and transform orientation to "local" which basically in this case is the normal direction. Indiidual origins allows you to scale individually similar to the bevel tool on multiple polys.

Can you do this with the new modeling tools in LightWave?

I don't know as I have not used them much.

At least this is what you need if that helps at all.

Waves of light
09-08-2014, 06:01 AM
To get quad polys from Ivy Generator tripled poly groups, try this:

1. Use the plugin MergeTrigonsX to turn them all into Non-planar polys.
2. Select all the non-planar polys and use Flatten. selecting 'normal axis - n' from the menu

Regards,
Ricky.

spherical
09-08-2014, 04:58 PM
Now we know how to do it. The question is: "Why?" I've never seen a completely flat leaf. Vegetation models are usually some level of fake looking as it is; although there are some really good ones. Ensuring that the leaves are farther away from how they normally look is one step farther away from reality; unless that is your goal. IOW, if it's a NPR project, then I get it. Just curious. BTW, I am so glad that there is a native way to get rid of non-planars. If I had a buck for every minute I have spent manually fixing them, I could probably stop working now.

jeric_synergy
09-08-2014, 05:12 PM
::seinfeld mode:: "Flatten!" grmblgrmbl

SOooooo many tools. IF LW had one of those "TIP OF THE DAY" features I would definitely leave it ON.

+++++

OK, when was "Flatten" added? It's not in the LWM10 PDF nor the LW11.6Addendum.

Surrealist.
09-08-2014, 05:30 PM
Its been around for quite a while. I actually forgot about it. before v9 at least AFAIK.

jeric_synergy
09-08-2014, 05:47 PM
Its been around for quite a while. I actually forgot about it. before v9 at least AFAIK.
Maddening.

If ONLY there were a WAY to get it into the dox in a timely fashion.... and all the other omissions we find.... too bad it's just IMPOSSIBLE. No one could hope to suggest a way to address THAT absolutely insolvable problem. Never. Not ever.

Surrealist.
09-08-2014, 09:57 PM
It should be in the standard manual - I would think.... maybe this was added in the 9x cycle?, really I forget....but, certainly wrong that they use the addendum method.... this is the worst way to do it. really poor. One online source, all updated with each update, is the best way.

jeric_synergy
09-08-2014, 10:30 PM
It should be in the standard manual - I would think.... maybe this was added in the 9x cycle?, really I forget....but, certainly wrong that they use the addendum method.... this is the worst way to do it. really poor. One online source, all updated with each update, is the best way.

Well, I checked the LW10 manual, which is supposed to be complete up to 10, so it SHOULD include 'Flatten'-- and it does not;
Using PDF Advanced Search, I generally search ALL the PDFs in that folder, because who knows which of the 4 'standard' ones it's gonna be in? (LWM, LW, Surf& Rnder, Addendum);
I disagree about "updated with each update"-- that is PATENTLY inadequate, because:

there will always be full-on Errata and Omissions in documentation--enough that 'Errata & Omissions' is 'a thing', and;
just 'cuz there's an explanation included, doesn't mean it's a good, or even an adequate explanation, and better ones should be accommodated.

itchy
09-08-2014, 11:05 PM
To get quad polys from Ivy Generator tripled poly groups, try this:

1. Use the plugin MergeTrigonsX to turn them all into Non-planar polys.
2. Select all the non-planar polys and use Flatten. selecting 'normal axis - n' from the menu

Regards,
Ricky.

Great tools mentioned guys. This is what I was after -MergeTrigonsX then Flatten. I had an old version when it was untriple and that hosed all the UV's. Flatten! I remember running across that before but didn't know what it did. Works perfect to on those non-planar polys.

I needed to add some flowers to a vine and one quad beveled into five was the perfect shape. I could have placed them by hand, but I knew there must be a better way, based on a model I ran across that used Ivy generator and had all Quad polys.

Waves of light
09-09-2014, 03:47 AM
Flatten has always been in the Details tab, under the Polygon menu since v9 - however, it does not appear in the manuals nor in the html help pages. And searching for it in the html pages does not return anything useful. So I can only assume it was missed.

jeric_synergy
09-09-2014, 08:32 AM
That it was missed is obvious.

That it could be added, TODAY, if there were a better documentation system, is also obvious. :devil:

Then this thread would have helped many users, instead of the few that will find it here. 8/

Waves of light
09-09-2014, 09:21 AM
I'm hoping that, with the release of LW12, Ben will have been tasked to do a new, up to date version of the manuals, which incorporates all the stuff from the web version and the newer PDF versions.

jeric_synergy
09-09-2014, 10:26 AM
It's not the manuals, it's the SYSTEM of documentation. Static documentation just Does Not Cut It.



No matter how well BeeVee does his job, there needs to be a better way to include corrections and simply better resources.

Waves of light
09-09-2014, 10:46 AM
It's not the manuals, it's the SYSTEM of documentation. Static documentation just Does Not Cut It.

Many moons ago, I did tech support for the software we designed for our company. I had a nice piece of software (name I cannot for the life of me remember) that allowed you to create html help files and output to PDF too. It was database driven too, which made it a lot easier to control content.

OnlineRender
09-09-2014, 11:12 AM
I have been using ivy generator for a few weeks now , I generally just export the vines then instance my own leafs or use DP_Verdure

Waves of light
09-09-2014, 11:21 AM
I have been using ivy generator for a few weeks now , I generally just export the vines then instance my own leafs or use DP_Verdure

That's a good way of cutting down process hogs and render times. Do you use the Ivy leaf polys as placeholders for the Instance generator, or another method? Is this what you used on your FB 'Nature' pic?

tburbage
09-09-2014, 02:09 PM
MergeTrigonsX
Just FYI, LWM has a native "Merge Triangles" command. This appeared somewhere in the 11 cycle, I'm guessing 11.5. I haven't compared its behavior directly with the old MergeTrigonsX, but it has worked for me so far.

I'm going to experiment more with Flatten this evening. I was aware it was there, but if it will discretely flatten multiple individual shells in a single execution, that would be very interesting.

In terms of the help system, I would very much like to see them go with an HTML approach, possibly in conjunction with wiki. It would may it so much easier for them to add incremental content, fix broken content immediately, and hopefully even include vetted community-contributed content. I like Maya's help system.

jeric_synergy
09-09-2014, 05:15 PM
FLATTEN is pretty interesting: I was playing with ABF UV Unwrap, Extended a bit of a sphere but wanted the resulting 'mesa' to be flat. Easy-peasy: lasso-select the top, FLATTEN:N, and wallagh!

jeric_synergy
09-09-2014, 05:24 PM
Does the IVY Generate make instancing easy? I'm thinking Verdure might be slicker because of it being a LW specific utility.

For instance, I know Denis included some auto W.Mapping options that make several tasks a breeze.

Waves of light
09-10-2014, 02:55 AM
@bturbage: That was the one I was looking for and couldn't find. It's under the Construct tab, Reduce menu - Merge Triangles and it seems to do the same routine as MergeTrigonsX. And you are correct, it appeared in the v11 cycle.

@jeric_synergy: I use Flatten all the time. it's a real time saver. I need to speak to Steph about how he used the resulting geometry from Ivy Gen to then use Instanced leafs instead. I'll see if he's on skype.

Oh and for some reason, the multiple quote button isn't working for me in the forums at the mo.

EDIT: Ok, I had a play with Ivy Gen and LW Instancing. Here's what I did:


Import a OBJ into Ivy Gen and grow your Ivy etc. Export to OBJ
Load OBJ into Modeler.
Select just the branch (using stastic panel - Surface attributes)
Move to another layer
Back to leaf layer, copy one leaf to a new layer and F2 to centre it
Back to leaf layer, collapse polys. That will leave you with a bunch of points.
Save
Into layout
Object properties of the points layer - select Instance tab
Add the single leaf as the object to be instanced
In the generation tab - set Type to points
Then mess with rotation settings (mainly random rotations within set limits of HPB)

jeric_synergy
09-10-2014, 06:06 AM
Using FLATTEN:

In a lot of tutorials, I see people using SCALE to FLATTEN a selection. It's a classic move. This works fine, of course, but it seems a bit laborious compared to clicking ONE button/hotkey. Also, it is contingent on the Action Center being set to Selection. That is, you don't have to worry about the Action Center with Flatten, while you do with Scale.

It's very late, but I'm straining to think of situations where flattening by Scale has an advantage over using Flatten. --Anybody??

Also, I like how Flatten uses a UI form where, as soon as you choose the option, it executes. That's nice and quick. :thumbsup: I don't have a hotkey assigned to Flatten right now, but when I do, a flattening operation will be two quick keypresses, versus Scale, which is a mouse drag at best (i.e. "slow") with a possible reset of the Action Center.

So, even more I regret that Flatten isn't in the docs. :devil:

Surrealist.
09-10-2014, 09:12 AM
Well the first obvious advantage is you actually should not even need a separate tool for flatten. And this brings up another debate gone over a zillion times here. But, again you can ditch about 80 percent of Modeler's modeling tools by having a proper widget system, which is why in the first post I figured there is tool for this - from memory - in the new modeling tools which has a custom axis - as I recall.

And this leads into the next advantage of scale over flatten, and that is doing operations like you can with Translate Plus, you should be able to define the axis. And you should be able to define any axis without the use of a separate tool like TP.

Flatten gives you the "individual origins" apparently. But this again should be a global option for all tools, and like the screen cap I provided, you can make scale and rotations on multiple selections around each origin. It should be an option that applies to all tools.

Flatten does not solve the problems you encounter when you want to have very precise modeling for mechanical stuff where exact angles can be key. Not only that but you want to be able to continue working on that axis with all of the tools. I think - if I understand correctly - you can do that now in Modeler. But however in a sort of band aid way rather than solving it within the interface as a universal setting.

Like a lot of tools in Modeler there are a lot of "one click" operations. To model in Modeler very efficiently it does take a knowledge of all the tools and plugins available and making your own menus, tabs and hot keys.

tburbage
09-10-2014, 10:20 AM
Flatten gives you the "individual origins" apparently. But this again should be a global option for all tools, and like the screen cap I provided, you can make scale and rotations on multiple selections around each origin. It should be an option that applies to all tools.

Flatten does not solve the problems you encounter when you want to have very precise modeling for mechanical stuff where exact angles can be key. Not only that but you want to be able to continue working on that axis with all of the tools. I think - if I understand correctly - you can do that now in Modeler. But however in a sort of band aid way rather than solving it within the interface as a universal setting.

Like a lot of tools in Modeler there are a lot of "one click" operations. To model in Modeler very efficiently it does take a knowledge of all the tools and plugins available and making your own menus, tabs and hot keys.

I did experiment last night with Flatten and it does operate independently on discrete selections using the Normals option. In the original poster's problem, it is useful for that. I found Smooth will also eventually flatten out a mesh to planarity, but it also changes the shape of the patch in a way that would often not be desirable.

I kind of came to my own conclusion about the non-planars issue, which was it can be almost impossible to create complex shapes in all quads and not have some non-planar faces. But if you are going to subpatch that isn't so much of an issue, and if you are creating a static mesh, tripling the problem faces is not necessarily a bad thing.


>>To model in Modeler very efficiently it does take a knowledge of all the tools and plugins available and making your own menus, tabs and hot keys.
Yep -- I think you really have to take the deep dive with Modeler to harness it's potential, and that takes a long process of experimentation and learning to refine your configuration down to something really efficient. Unfortunately, there are so many tools a newcomer or newbie to modeling is going to have a steep slope to climb to work out what can be ignored and which tools to bring to the front. Modeler really needs an evangelist. I wish it had a Joseph Drust (http://pixologic.com/zclassroom/homeroom/#digital-sculpting -- see "Helmet Design", "Topology", "Military Assets With Joseph Drust", and many others).

Surrealist.
09-10-2014, 12:18 PM
Yeah it takes that in any package I think. Modeler in particular could use some simplification that would make it faster. But you have to be diligent, read/watch everything you can find, come here for help, tutorials... there are really no shortcuts.

And coming up there were a lot of Drust, level guys. William, Larry. And then the 1001 tips and tricks book. All of that stuff is still around in one way or another.

Luckily many of the techniques you learn do transfer from package to package. And when you learn another package is when it hits home how backwards modeler really is. And how much you had to learn just because it was modeler... oh well. Hopefully that will change.

jwiede
09-10-2014, 01:25 PM
Many moons ago, I did tech support for the software we designed for our company. I had a nice piece of software (name I cannot for the life of me remember) that allowed you to create html help files and output to PDF too. It was database driven too, which made it a lot easier to control content.

Such programs include "HelpNDoc" (by IBE Software, quite popular); "Help Supreme" (by Brain District, makers of Ray Supreme); Help Editor/Capture/Generator (by helpgenerator.com); and there are others as well. I wish development was going a bit faster on "Help Supreme", alas. I know HelpNDoc is quite well-known and popular, but I tend to use MS in-house tools to achieve same thing, or HelpSupreme.

Waves of light
09-12-2014, 02:48 AM
Such programs include "HelpNDoc" (by IBE Software, quite popular); "Help Supreme" (by Brain District, makers of Ray Supreme); Help Editor/Capture/Generator (by helpgenerator.com); and there are others as well. I wish development was going a bit faster on "Help Supreme", alas. I know HelpNDoc is quite well-known and popular, but I tend to use MS in-house tools to achieve same thing, or HelpSupreme.

Yes, the interface was very similar to HelpSupreme. You built it all in MS Access and then your UI (along with graphics) in another part of the package.