View Full Version : The Almost very powerful polyline to mesh technique/ metaedges, objects/info provided

07-03-2015, 03:23 PM
Hi folks, I stumbled in to the metaedges techniques again, might need to align this with the old thread I have about it, I also have some old youtube clips on it, but I should do new ones too if I am up to it.

I want you guys to test the objects for me, thereīs an image on how the toggle metaedges object should look like directly when you load it and if you have one viewport set to textured, this object is already converted to metaedges..so hoping its lookin as it should.

the other called create metaedges is for you folks to simply convert for yourself to see how it works, it should convert nicely directly.

Hereīs the process..

Polylines to mesh with converting to metaedges then freezing and reducing polys and fixing symmetry in sculptris.

The skeleton is created with the line pen tool in symmetry mode, but you can copy edges from geometry and paste as edges and delete polys, create curves/convert to polychains etc to create a wide variation
of skelegon structures.


before loading the object, go to your general preferences in modeler and
set the metaball resolution to 100.


the object called toggle metaedges is finished result and should look
like the image.
go to construct tab to test toggle metaballs, and turn it on and of.
to delete the metaEdges (metaballs), select the metaballs in the polygon statistics tab

the create metaedges object is just the polylines, go to construct and convert metaedges to see the direct result, you can use wireframe mode
in some viewports and use the drag tool and preferably symmetry to move or change the Polyline skeleton and ultimatly the metaedge form.


once happy, you can freeze it with ctrl-d to turn it in to final polygons, you should reduce it a couple of times with poly reduce+ and then merge triangles/merge trigons.
Then preferably metaform plus one time, this leave us with a mesh that isnīt symmetrical, if you download the free sculptris, you can export from lightwave to obj, then load it
to sculptris, click on symmetry, and it will automaticly heal the mesh to be symmetrical, it will however add triangles again, you can load back to lightwave and merge trigons again
if needed and the symmetry should still be there.


note..do not try to create new polylines on an a polyline structure that already is converted, that will not work, you can however do another polyline in a background layer that actually
can snap to the other layers vertex point..go to the first metaedges structure and select the metaballs in the polygon statistics, then delete it, only the metaballs will
be deleted not the polylines, after that you can flatten the layers and convert to metaedges from scratch, you can of course simply delete metaballs as the first route and create
additional polylines in the very first layer too.

If you want to edit metaballs themself with influence or metaball radius, you must select the metaballs in the polygon statistics panel, then go to construct, edit metaballs.

I would also recommend creating a polyline structure within maybe...
That is just a guideline based on my structure, this to be able to see good results directly when converting since the metaball default radius is 1m, so if you were
to create 200 m or 2mm, you wouldnīt get accurate results.


I do hope the lw team could push metaedges or the technique of making a mesh from a skeleton polyline, not sure if ikeda was in the process with that for lw or his own app.
you could of course use zbrush for skelegon creation, but you will not have acess to creating it from geometry edges as Lightwave does, you can also perform dynamics or displacements on polychains and mesh the final results with metaedges.

07-03-2015, 03:57 PM
And here is a new clip showcasing a beveled disc converted to polychains by copy and paste edges, then converted to metaedges, the background polyline layer was just there as a guide of proper size for metaedges default 1m radius.

could be very fun to create very twisted and complicated skelegon structures, and you can twist and turn the skelegon (polychain) as you want and the metaball (meshing) will follow without being deformed on the surface.


07-03-2015, 06:39 PM
I forget (and it's too hot to search): does Layout render Metaedges directly?

07-03-2015, 07:16 PM
I forget (and it's too hot to search): does Layout render Metaedges directly?

yes they do, you have to enter the objects (polylines) properties and set metaball resolution for openGl and render level as you do with subdivs.
They work in both openGL, VPR, and final render, however...if you try and set the display level with vpr active, it wont update, you have to switch to wireframe to see the level change, and then back to vpr.

I was also testing another way of creating polymeshes from polylines with fiberfx and polygonize, some errors here and there..not sure if I can get it work as I want..will continue to experiment, with polygonize you could get decent quad meshes directly as opposed from metaedges.

I even tried to map the polygonize command in modeler, but that wont work...a wildshot, they should have such tool though :)

07-03-2015, 07:21 PM
Thereīs also a toggle metaballs on off in layout, as there is with subpatches...in the modeler tools tab.
And you can use displacements on it too.
And instancing works with it too.

07-03-2015, 08:23 PM
He...I got some interesting Rock creation results by simply creating a simple cube in modeler, default setting 50x50x50 cm
save it and send to layout, in layout I created metaballs from layout, that will generate 1m metaball sphere meshing (not freezed) around the cube, I had the metaball display resolution set to 10.
Then using soft fx on the cube, and calculate, then I can deform the cube to a rock inside of layout with the edit node...weird, but it feels that I can get a sort of result which I canīt get in modeler, so once I have deformed the main shape to my liking, I freeze it by going to save trans object...then back in modeler again..and do some merge trigons and possible reduce polys, then metaform again, some slight point move to change sharpness etc.

I could also skip merging trigons, it can also give some nice chipped effect if you subdivide with facet and set a smoothing angle that gives a little hardness...
And by the way..even if I scultp deform with softfx in layout, I can throw on a normal displacement to further deform it, but with the main deformation intact from soft fx.

And to further that, using poly selection mode in modeler, then select nth pattern with n20 offset 50, that gives random poly selection nicely, then expand selection once, then go multishift or use point normal move, and there will be some very interesting detail terrace or shards going on.

Might need to record it ..at least showcase it later with images...but Iīve spent to much time now in front of the computer..so there might not be much up for a day or two :)


07-04-2015, 09:58 PM
hehe...it works to simply grab a genoma preset and run metaedges on the skelegons too, this was quite dense in metaball resolution, If anyone ever fiddle with it, I think it is recommended to use 64 bit ..it seems to handle the metaball resolution much better for higher values.

Now wouldnīt it be nice if nice quads and a meshing without to much density could be implemented, you could just run the meshing on top of whatever skelegons or genoma preset you have in your library, and you wouldnīt need to pose align it to a mesh...Thatīs what I would want.

Now this is highly experimental, the metaedges are to thick in radius to follow small limbs, you would have to edit different limbs individually in metaball editing...to get it