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View Full Version : Instancer - avoiding overlap.



gordonrobb
02-13-2015, 04:01 AM
I've never used instances believe it or not, and wanted to quickly use it to create thousands of copies of my object. Have managed to figure out how to create the thousands of copies and randomly have them over a flat surface, but the quite often are intersecting with each other.

Is there a simple setting that I'm missing?

Andy Webb
02-13-2015, 04:38 AM
Unfortunately there isn't, at least as far as I know.

Would be great if there was a way to avoid intersecting instances but I've never found a way :(

:D

Sensei
02-13-2015, 05:25 AM
1.5 year ago I showed in video tutorial called "TrueArt LightWave 3D Tutorial How To Spray Instances Avoiding Overlapping Full HD video":

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

Simply using Spray Bg Points (http://www2.trueart.pl/?URIType=Directory&URI=Products/Plug-Ins/SprayBgPoints) with especially made for this task parameters..

Lewis
02-13-2015, 05:50 AM
what instancing mode you used? surface mode or Array ?

gordonrobb
02-13-2015, 05:54 AM
That seems like quite a big failing in an instancing system is it now?

- - - Updated - - -

I use surface as array is too uniform. (I think) I'll need to have another look :)

Lewis
02-13-2015, 05:57 AM
That seems like quite a big failing in an instancing system is it now?

- - - Updated - - -

I use surface as array is too uniform. (I think) I'll need to have another look :)

In the surface mode you can use Relax option with maximum of 40 (don't ask me why max number is 40 ;)) and it will help to prevent overlapping, it won't solve it completely but it'll help. Just be warned it's slowing down openGL when using that feature.

HarverdGrad
02-13-2015, 05:59 AM
Everyone on this thread joined in 2003.
Crazy, Man! :)

gordonrobb
02-13-2015, 06:00 AM
Actually if I use array, and some variation I can get a better look. Thanks!

127007

gerry_g
02-13-2015, 06:09 AM
Haven't tried it yet only downloaded http://hurleyworks.com/ap-demo/ but I was just about to write whatever hap end to Hurleyworks instancing plugin and low and behold there is a demo avaiable, instancing needs to be more controllable than it currently is. (what another 2003 member posting in the same thread, what are the odds, 2003 to I suspect)

gordonrobb
02-13-2015, 06:17 AM
I assume 2003 is when something changed and previous memebers got registered.

gerry_g
02-13-2015, 06:31 AM
I think Lightwave 7.5b came out that year and there was a special offer on it, I know it's what hooked me :-)

djwaterman
02-13-2015, 06:52 AM
Is Hurleyworks Advanced Placement using instances?

Lewis
02-13-2015, 06:54 AM
Is Hurleyworks Advanced Placement using instances?

Yes you can use instances or clones or mix.

gerry_g
02-13-2015, 07:47 AM
https://www.youtube.com/user/HurleyworksInc go look at the youtube channel there are a bunch of demo videos there that show way more detail than the main site walkthrough does

Greenlaw
02-13-2015, 08:51 AM
The Hurley tool can use collision detection for its instances based on the source geometry, as well as many other dynamics features. When he says it's 'Advanced', he means it. :)

G.

gerry_g
02-13-2015, 09:32 AM
For a beta its pretty good, has collision detection and it detects the surface normals so things stick properly to the surface, how well it will do with big numbers I have no idea but would seriously recommend some playtime cough!, I mean serious product evaluation

bobakabob
02-13-2015, 03:55 PM
More tutorials on how to accurately place instances from LW3dG would be greatly appreciated.

The renders look stunning from native LW instancing but there could be more precise control over where they go. There are array and random options. Hope I'm wrong about this but it could be more intuitive.

Advanced placement is a great step forward. Definitely worth investing as it allows you to tweak the instances and manipulate their positions as you create them. You can also backtrack, edit, delete. You can even apply dynamics.

Greenlaw
02-13-2015, 04:33 PM
With the native system, the only precise way to place instances it to use fixed points as emitters. You can do that in modeler using Random Cloner to populate the points over a terrain mesh, and then move the point around manually as desired.

Or if you'd rather do it in Layout, you can drop points onto a surface using dynamics and then use Save Transformed to save the points in their new position. Naturally, you'll want to swap out the points for the transformed version. Then, if you need to move any points, you can use SoftFX to edit their positions. Just calculate a few frames, go back to frame 0, and move the points using the Edit Points tool in SoftFX. When you're done, use Save Transformed again.

Or you can just get Advanced Placement. :)

Hope this helps.

G.

Greenlaw
02-13-2015, 04:49 PM
Oh, duh. You don't need dynamics to drop the points to the ground. You can just use HeatShrink in Modeler. For example, spray your points above a terrain object in another layer. Then, with the terrain in the BG layer, invoke Heat Shrink, set Mode to Y, and drag the points down to the ground. The points should collide and stop at the ground surface.

G.

bobakabob
02-13-2015, 04:51 PM
Many thanks for that Greenlaw. Can I ask what steps you take to affix an instance to a point in Layout? This sounds like there is much more scope for control.

I'm also thinking 3rd powers Cage and Lattice might come in useful...

Greenlaw
02-13-2015, 05:01 PM
Sure, it's easy! In Layout, select the points object, add an Instance Generator, add your source objects, and then choose Points as your Type. If you want to see the points in openGL, you'll want to use Points to Polygons in Modeler first. Remember to disable the points in Scene Editor if you don't want to render the points themselves.

Side tip: If you use ParticleFX as the point emiiter, you'll want to select Particles for Type, not Points.

G.

bobakabob
02-13-2015, 05:13 PM
Aha, more inspiration! Thanks Greenlaw for clarifying. That's my Saturday afternoon gone..

Greenlaw
02-13-2015, 05:24 PM
I've used Third Powers lattice to move and shape points for Instances too. It's mainly useful if you need to animate the points. In my case, I had set up the cage into a specific shape and then I pushed my points through it--the lattice then deformed the points as they passed through the space.

Naturally, you may animate the lattice cage too for a very different effect.

G.

cagey5
02-14-2015, 01:54 PM
2003 was the year the old forum was retired and everyone migrated over to the new forum. February 2003 to be precise.

Chrusion
02-16-2015, 09:33 AM
To eliminate overlapping instances using the above spray points/heat shrink method, just run the points thru the Quantize tool with radius equal to instanced object bounding box radius. Remember to merge points afterwards to remove points that were moved on top of its closest neighbor.

gerry_g
02-16-2015, 10:41 AM
spray points with heat shrink is a great trick I use it a lot for instancing as it gives most control, way more precise than using image maps or wights, but playing with that new plugin 'Advanced Placement' makes you realise how tedious that is as a process because you always need to tweak it at some point, with the plugin you can spray or paint initially then switch to 'tweak' to move any specific instance you like, and unlike native instancing switching between instancing mode and Lightwave mode is fast, you don't have to kill all your instances just to regain control to perform some other task.

Greenlaw
02-16-2015, 03:43 PM
....Remember to merge points afterwards to remove points that were moved on top of its closest neighbor.
Oh, yes, that's a very important step! I forgot to mention it so thanks for bringing it up. :)

G.