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vonpietro
02-11-2015, 01:55 PM
So, i was looking for tutorials on youtube and there was very little.

anyone know of any helpful sites that explain how to get started with fiber fx? (i mean with good results)

lets start a definitive fiber fx help post with all the references we can find on doing good looking hair.

Greenlaw
02-11-2015, 02:40 PM
Hi,

Word of warning: These threads usually degenerate into a lot of grousing about the tools. I hope this one can stay focused on helpful and productive use of FiberFX.

I've documented some info on my FiberFX experience here:

Brudders 2 Production Log (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?133274-The-Brudders-2-Production-Log-%28Well-sort-of-%29)

The thread s not exactly a tutorial but it contains info you might find useful. Some of the early stuff is a little dated by now but most of it is still relevant. With our animated short film as an example, I talk about using the native FiberFX tools and third-party tools for styling, and how to set up FiberFX up for animation and rendering. I also talk a bit about solutions to certain lighting issues and using FiberFX's motion vector data for post processing motion blur, which is a huge time saver. If you're curious to see the 'work-in-progress' of the film here: Brudders 2 Work-in-Progress (https://vimeo.com/68543424). I should have more time to work on the project this year, so expect to see new info in that thread soon.

The biggest issue I've run into with FiberFX was the noise generated when using multi-sample lights like Dome and DP Infinite and I describe a few workaround solutions for Lightwave 11.5.1. Lightwave 2015 is supposed to have fixed the multi-sample light problem which is fantastic news. I haven't used FiberFX in 2015 yet but will be doing so very soon. I'll post updated info at the 'Brudders' thread as soon as I have something new to report.

Feel free to ask any questions here or there, and I'll try my best to answer. :)

G.

bobakabob
02-11-2015, 02:41 PM
Agreed, you might find the old Proton videos but they're falling out of date. Using the plugin in LW 2015 shouldn't be a mysterious black art. Years ago Shave and a Haircut for LW was so stable and simple to use with strikingly good results - if only it were still available.

The manual contains lots of detailed info which a single tutorial related to character rendering and / or animation (as opposed to furry balls or grass) would pull together. There is a real need for an updated FibrFx in character creation for beginners series... Which surely would make a bob or two for an enterprising LW expert. Otherwise it's a matter of reverse engineering the sample scenes in LW which look pretty good (although in my limited experience seem to be just a wee bit unstable for comfort).

vonpietro
02-11-2015, 02:55 PM
brudders looks pretty nice - =) thanks for getting this post to a good start.
i'll check the manual too.

bobakabob
02-11-2015, 02:56 PM
Greenlaw, thanks for all the wealth of info in your threads. Lots of fascinating detail and your FibrFx video is one of the best, (any chance you would develop the follow up? Surfacing and dynamics is still challenging for FFX beginners).
What I'm sure many users would appreciate is a FFX expert writing something like a QuickStart Guide to creating a simple dynamic hairpiece for a character in say 10 easy steps. Could anyone be generous enough to sum up the process with reference to dos and don'ts? :) I for one would certainly invest if this was commercial.

vonpietro
02-11-2015, 03:09 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaoypChuU1U&list=PL428A8D72515C6DC1

wow - this bird animation is really amazing, says lw and modo so not sure if its fiber fx, but if it is, its one of the nicest examples of fiber fx i've seen yet.

bird animation shows a high level of ability.

jasonwestmas
02-11-2015, 03:18 PM
I would just look at what Greenlaw has done but FFX has changed a lot over the years. So workarounds and certain ffx input values you find scattered on the internet are probably not the same. Here's one on shading I did a while back, some people seem to find it helpful.

https://vimeo.com/73548189

- - - Updated - - -


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaoypChuU1U&list=PL428A8D72515C6DC1

wow - this bird animation is really amazing, says lw and modo so not sure if its fiber fx, but if it is, its one of the nicest examples of fiber fx i've seen yet.

bird animation shows a high level of ability.

That's sasquatch. I can tell because of the flickering shadow maps. Other than those kinds of issues I think sas is great.

Greenlaw
02-11-2015, 05:00 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaoypChuU1U&list=PL428A8D72515C6DC1

wow - this bird animation is really amazing, says lw and modo so not sure if its fiber fx, but if it is, its one of the nicest examples of fiber fx i've seen yet.

bird animation shows a high level of ability.

Khalid created a beautiful lorikeet (https://www.lightwave3d.com/community/gallery/author/Khalid/al-Muharraqi/)a while back and I believe he used FiberFX for the feathers. However this video was posted six years ago so I think it's unlikely that it's Fiberfx. In my experience, FiberFX was difficult to use for animation until after 11.5 or so.

I really don't know though...Khalid creates a lot of amazing work using Lightwave.

G.

Greenlaw
02-11-2015, 05:13 PM
jasonwestmas brings up a very good point. FiberFX has come a long way but it's also been a moving target as far as settings go. The tool keeps getting better with each release but the improvements tend to break older scenes. You will also want to avoid using old configs between smaller upgrades--that's a good idea in general, not just for FiberFX.

The best way to learn is to make something very simple and play around with each parameter individually until you get a good feel for what they do. I learn a lot from observing what settings to only a few fibers on a simple plane or sphere. That's a good way to troubleshoot problems too.

G.

JoePoe
02-12-2015, 06:35 PM
These have been helpful in the past .... from Proton V. :thumbsup:

Fiber FX Cheat Sheets (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?88985-Fiber-FX-Cheat-Sheets)

ncr100
02-13-2015, 01:49 AM
Similarly to @JoePoe - a thread with two hours of FiberFX videos: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?89494-Over-2-Hours-of-Free-FiberFX-Videos

erikals
02-13-2015, 08:53 AM
was this fixed in 2015 by the way ?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G6iDKMY5YE

prometheus
02-13-2015, 02:16 PM
I am pretty sure he used fiberfx for the eagle...take a look here...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4AwtN1EK9E

Greenlaw
02-13-2015, 03:00 PM
Wow, and in Lightwave 9.5 even!

Back then I was only dabbling with FiberFX but still primarily using Sasquatch at work. I did occasionally use FiberFX Strand Modeler (in Modeler) for Sasquatch guides but I didn't feel FiberFX Edit Guides or the renderer was quite ready for production until we hit version 11-something. I'm really impressed to see he was able to do this in 9.5.

(Then again, almost everything he's done impresses me, so I shouldn't be surprised.) :)

Anyway, nice find and thanks for sharing it.

G.

bobakabob
02-13-2015, 03:23 PM
Could anyone explain the best way to create a fiberfx 'strand' of hair from a 2point poly chain.

Isn't there some crucial step like a naming convention for the first 2 point poly in the chain for the plugin to work its magic? I can't find this in the manual.

I'd like to try creating hair from a poly chain rather than 'growing' it from a specified 'scalp' surface - there just seems to be much more control over this approach. Advice gratefully accepted :)

Greenlaw
02-13-2015, 03:58 PM
That's a really good question.

I used to think a FiberFX guide chain required that the first point in the chain have a special property. Sasquatch, for example, required a root point to be defined by a surface or part name. But as a quick test, I just now created a 2-point polygon chain from scratch without defining a root point and it seems to work just fine with FiberFX. All I can figure is that the direction of growth (in this case) is probably determined by the point order.

Anyway, the most reliable way to create a single guide chain in Modeler is to create the guide using the curve tool and then converting it into a FiberFX guide using FiberFX Strand Maker. The beginning of a curve is indicated by a box at one end of the curve. You can reverse this by pressing the 'f' key for 'Flip'. Strand Maker will not only convert the curve into a 2-polygon chain but it will also generate a weight map useful for shading and effects.

FYI, Strand Maker is what you use to convert ZBrush FiberMesh curves into FiberFX compatible polygon chains. (FiberFX is technically compatible with curves too but you can't use vertex maps in a curve guide chain (like UV, Morph and Weight maps.)

BTW, I have noticed that when I use Strand Maker, it converts the first point of the curve into a single point polygon. My guess is that this is what normally determines the root point for FiberFX guides. Now that I think about it, that was required for Sasquatch because otherwise you would not be able to give the root a unique surface. I'm guessing FiberFX is doing something similar except it's only looking for the single point polygon, not the surface.

Of course, this doesn't explain the result I got with my test, unless FiberFX just defaults to using point order to find the root if it doesn't find that the single-point polygon.

I'll look into this further this weekend. It's been a long time since I last used FiberFX and I really need to get back into it anyway. :)

G.

bobakabob
02-13-2015, 04:13 PM
Thanks Greenlaw, info greatly appreciated. I'm looking forward to finally delving into fiberfx after using Shave n Haircut all those years ago.

Edit: Your advice about the curve weights and 'flip' option is especially helpful.

jboudreau
02-13-2015, 05:28 PM
I am pretty sure he used fiberfx for the eagle...take a look here...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4AwtN1EK9E

I would say he used a combination of both because here is the bird in the sasquatch gallery on the Worley laboratories website

http://www.worley.com/E/Products/sasquatch/sas_gallery.html 2nd image in the gallery

127013

Hope this helps
Jason

Greenlaw
02-13-2015, 05:45 PM
That does sound more likely to me. Way back in the LW 9.5 days, I couldn't get FiberFX to render reliably for animation, at least when I was evaluating it where I worked. I always had problems with shadows not rendering correctly.

It wasn't until sometime during the Lightwave 11 cycle that I felt comfortable enough to use FiberFX for production work. (That was when we made the DmC: Devil May Cry trailer at R&H.)

G.

erikals
02-14-2015, 04:01 AM
but out of curiosity, was the rotation issue fixed in LightWave 2015 ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G6iDKMY5YE

( for those of you who own 2015 )

jasonwestmas
02-14-2015, 06:22 AM
That does sound more likely to me. Way back in the LW 9.5 days, I couldn't get FiberFX to render reliably for animation, at least when I was evaluating it where I worked. I always had problems with shadows not rendering correctly.

It wasn't until sometime during the Lightwave 11 cycle that I felt comfortable enough to use FiberFX for production work. (That was when we made the DmC: Devil May Cry trailer at R&H.)

G.

It was sasquatch, I'm pretty sure I have not seen the animated render of FFX if he was dabbling with it. He probably gave up on ffx. I gave up on it too for a while after getting flicker and artifacting in every animated sequence.

jboudreau
02-14-2015, 07:32 AM
but out of curiosity, was the rotation issue fixed in LightWave 2015 ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G6iDKMY5YE

( for those of you who own 2015 )

Hi erikals

No it hasn't been fixed in 2015, It's very difficult to adjust the rotation of the model in the FibreFX viewport. (Something is definitely messed up) It's as if the model is not rotating around it's center point but more on the bottom of the object. If you rotate the model moving your mouse to the right and left up and down it works the same as the modelers perspective viewport but if you rotate the mouse in a clockwise direction it rotates in the opposite direction of modelers perspective viewport and vice versa

Did you report it to the LW3DG?

Hope this helps
Jason

erikals
02-14-2015, 07:58 AM
hi      \ : )

thank you, so it's still there... :/ oh well...

did report it via FogBugz, and they basically said they would fix it
shouldn't be too hard? though i know there are 1000 other bugs to squash,

hopefully it's fixed in the next 2015 update...

just found it weird that the "bug" was still there, after all these FiberFX revisions,
i hadn't used FiberFX that much until recently, other wise i would have reported it earlier on...

Greenlaw
02-14-2015, 03:31 PM
That's funny, I've gotten so used to how the FiberFX Strand Modeler interface works that I haven't thought about the UI inconsistency in many years. :p

Anyway, here's my understanding of the UI situation.

The way Lightwave Modeler does it--the virtual ring along the outer region of the viewport to control 'banking'--had always been unique to Modeler (and later adopted by Modo of course.) Most other programs handle it the way FiberFX Strand Modeler does it. I think this is a 'standard' OpenGL thing, and FiberFX adopted this method way back before Newtek purchased the plug-in.

I was beta testing FiberFX back when it was still a third-party plug-in and I remember asking the dev about this, and if it would be possible to make it consistent with Modeler native behavior. He agreed that the way it worked in Modeler was more intuitive and he'd look into that. This was many, many years ago but the FiberFX Strand Modeler UI hasn't changed very much since then. My guess is that, because FiberFX Strand Modeler was designed and built with its own 3D UI independent of Newtek, it may have been too difficult to switch it over to the native Modeler UI code without un-doing the whole thing.

Still just guessing but these days I think LW3DG has an interest in moving away from FiberFX Strand Modeler and replacing it completely with FiberFX Edit Guides in Layout, so there's probably not a lot of will to change the modeler tools at this stage. I'm okay with that so long as we continue to see improvements in the FiberFX Edit Guides tools that make it more capable and easier to use.

For me, Edit Guides currently works well for short hair styles and animal fur, but it can be difficult for creating long hair styles. For long hairstyles, I've been relying more on ZBrush FiberMesh, which has a steep learning curve but works great once you get the hang of it. But if you've used FiberMesh on a rigged character, then you know there are issues that require some tricky workarounds that you don't have to deal with when using Edit Guides, so it's still a bit of a mixed bag right now. The main issue with Fibermesh is that it doesn't import into Lightwave with UV, weight or morph maps, and you need to transfer these to yoru guides from your character using DrainBGVmap in Modeler. DrainBGVmap actually works great for this but, since it's an old x32 plug-in, it's not capable of handling a ton of fur guides. The Brudders characters, for example, pretty much maxed out the memory available to x32 Modeler, and I would like to have used a lot more guides with these characters.

I continue find all this is manageable and useful but, yeah, the workflow could be better. :)

I'll post new info as soon a I get back into this stuff for 2015.

G.

erikals
02-14-2015, 04:38 PM
i think it should be a quite fast fix though, and it could be a good idea so have it a bit hi-pri as new LightWave users will have to get used to many different navigations...

-Modeler OpenGL
-Layout OpenGL
-Perspective mode in Layout
-FiberFX
-Vertex Paint

gosh, writing down this stuff really makes me think i've gotten used to it all... :


Still just guessing but these days I think LW3DG has an interest in moving away from FiberFX Strand Modeler and replacing it completely with FiberFX Edit Guides in Layout
yes, i hope so too, i think that would be a smart move... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif