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View Full Version : Can you chronosculpt hair guides for FiberFX?



Curly_01
09-26-2015, 05:26 AM
Can you chronosculpt hair guides for FiberFX?

jboudreau
09-26-2015, 07:59 AM
Can you be more specific in what you are trying to do? A little more detail would be helpful

Thanks,
Jason

Curly_01
09-26-2015, 09:28 AM
I want to animate hair without using the dynamics engine. For instance long locks of hair that interact with a hand or some minor animation of curls of hair wiping in the wind.

jboudreau
09-26-2015, 09:56 AM
I'm pretty sure you would have to animate the hair first and then export it out as .mdd files. Then you could load the .mdd files into chronosculpt where you could make changes and edits in there.

Curly_01
09-26-2015, 12:05 PM
So if I would animate a couple of morphs and export an mdd file this would work for chronosculpt.

Greenlaw
09-26-2015, 12:44 PM
Technically, you can do that with Chronosculpt but realistically speaking, that is not a practical way to animate hair. For example, you can move and size selections but you won't be able to rotate. For example, I used CS to edit a Bullet sim of a collapsing warehouse in a movie last year and it was great for repositioning some debris to improve composition to the camera, but I found I could not change the tumbling action of some of the debris. (I wound up simply moving the offending tumblers off camera.)

However, for adding simple morph actions to hair, like the hair wipe you mentioned, I think should work well for that. Normally, after calculating the hair dynamics, you might use CS to correct guide penetration errors but it could be used to add certain limited motions too.

But you know, you can also do this natively using EditFX and the Save Endomorph command.

G.

hdace
09-26-2015, 01:48 PM
I tried doing that once and it absolutely did not work.

Sorry, should have been specific. I tried loading hair guides into CS. Can't remember if it just didn't recognize 2-point polys at all, or whether it just wouldn't apply the mdd. I think it was the latter.

Greenlaw
09-26-2015, 02:18 PM
Shoot...I don't have Chronosculpt installed on my new computer yet. Will check that out later today.

G.

erikals
09-26-2015, 02:22 PM
maybe an alternative could be 3rd Powers lattice

Greenlaw
09-26-2015, 02:28 PM
129956

It works. The motion is just the guide chain tumbling but Chronosculpt read the data just fine. Maybe it was an issue with version 1.0?

G.

hdace
09-26-2015, 02:38 PM
I suppose it was 1.0. I must try that again sometime...

Greenlaw
09-26-2015, 02:42 PM
I'm having some trouble editing the guides but the problem may be because my computer is a tablet or because I'm on Windows 10. Some tools work but others don't seem to respond. I'll try a normal mesh now just to be sure. BRB.

Okay, just tried a regular polygon mesh. The Mesh works fine so my guess is that Chronosculpt needs surface normals to work properly. Here you can see the Sculpt tool is active over the flat plane it just edited, but the tool cannot be activated over the guide chain:

129957

So to the original poster, no, CS is not a good tool for animating hair guides at all. But you should be able to 'brush edit' the hair guides in Layout using EditFX. I don't think I've used it for guides before though so let me get back to you on that.

Greenlaw
09-26-2015, 03:05 PM
Okay, I'm back and, yeah, it works great!

Here's a before and after for a single guide chain using EditFX. The first pic shows the unaltered guide chain after applying SoftFX. The second image is the same guide chain with the 'curl' edited using EditFX's brush tool.

129958

The EditFX brush has an adjustable falloff so you can edit a group of strands easily (assuming the guides exist in the same object layer.) After editing, you will either want to bake the edited animation to an .mdd or use Save Endomorph to embed this displacement as a morph target. The method you choose depends on how you're animating the hair of course.

This is probably the preferred method for what you're asking. You can't do this using Chronosculpt.

Hope this helps.

G.

Greenlaw
09-26-2015, 03:33 PM
Okay, had to check for myself again. I was being a bit sloppy but here I'm using the tool to edit a bundle of hair guides:

129960 129959

The first pic is the unaltered object and the second is a fairly extreme alteration of the object using EditFX. The 'sphere' is the falloff region of the EditFX brush tool.

You wouldn't want to use this tool to make huge changes (there are better but more involved ways to deal with that) but this is probably ideal for smaller changes like the wipe you mentioned.

G.

Greenlaw
09-26-2015, 03:40 PM
Getting back to what Erikals said, using a cage deformer is another good way to deal with this.

Back when I was using Sasquatch for character hair, I would typically build a cage for the hair. The cage would wrap around groups of guide chains so they could be animated more predictably and super quickly using ClothFX. (I think my typical calc times for long hair back then was about 10 seconds to maybe a couple of minutes. Using a cage can make a huge difference in calc times, possibly saving you hours.) You can use FX MetaLink to make the cage deform the guides.

I don't bother with cages so much now because Bullet works so much faster directly on the guides. Here's a very old 11.5 test showing the calc times you can expect using Bullet directly on the guides:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-kQRSsaCpg

But if you want to use a cage with Bullet, you may need to use one of the other 'MetaLink' type deformers like the nodal Metalink or DP MetaFit. (They each have their pros and cons. I need to get back to my film but if you need to know what they are, just ask and I'll try to list them when I get the chance.)

G.

Greenlaw
09-26-2015, 03:57 PM
Actually, you can totally use a cage with Bullet and the original FX_MetaLink. First you need to run your Bullet sim on the cage and save an .mdd. Remove Bullet from the scene (do this in a copy of the scene.) Then you need to apply ClothFX and rescan it. Save the new .mdd and designate it as a ClothFX scan. Remove the old .mdd but leave the ClothFX one active in ClothFX. Now you can use FX_MetaLink with the Bullet animated cage and guide chains.

Normally, this trick shouldn't be necessary because Bullet usually works really quickly and predictably with hair guides, but it's good to keep in mind if you're having trouble managing a complicated hairstyle or animation.

G.

Luc_Feri
09-27-2015, 07:57 AM
129967

2 point polychains can be manipulated inside of chronosculpt. Whether or not it would be a good workflow needs further tests. Dragnet works!!

It even responds to the smooth all algorithm!

There is a trick. Must be in wireframe mode. Then select Dragnet and resize your cursor using the RMB. ;)

This was a simple sketch curve converted using the strand tool, no previous .mdd animation applied. Seeing as layout might be choppy with thousands of 2 point poly chains , maybe grooming would be difficult. This could be done in CS with the geometry acceleration, then a morph or modified .mdd exported to bring into Layout for final render using FFX.

Luc_Feri
09-28-2015, 02:32 PM
OK nobody quick to thank me here, maybe I'll keep all my findings to myself next time.

My ego just left the building. ;)

Greenlaw
09-28-2015, 03:03 PM
Sorry, I actually did mean to comment yesterday. Thanks for looking further into this and figuring out the trick.

I'm still skeptical that this can be any more practical than just animating the hair directly in Layout, but I'm sure a real practical use will come along when I least expect it. (Something always comes up.) :)

G.

Luc_Feri
09-28-2015, 03:46 PM
Sorry, I actually did mean to comment yesterday. Thanks for looking further into this and figuring out the trick.

I'm still skeptical that this can be any more practical than just animating the hair directly in Layout, but I'm sure a real practical use will come along when I least expect it. (Something always comes up.) :)

G.


Hey Greenlaw!! I thought this was quite a big revelation, hence my deflated ego. ;)

I agree not practical at all for hair grooming as I tried it, minor tweaks to some intersected or ugly parts of the animation for sure.

My thoughts there is definitely scope for modifying ropes, cables etc and other mad stuff people want to blow around in the movies. I'd much rather ammend a 2 point poly chain and not distort any geometry whilst tweaking some movements and then metalink the geo to that.

It's ok I wasted all of 15 mins to work it out for the OP. ;)

I know I'm trying too hard to impress people like yourself who are looked up to on here, my bad. I just got the technical knack for figuring stuff out due to my research scientist background and analytical mind, I may seem arrogant and it's a british sarcastic humour thing too. :D

Dodgy
09-28-2015, 09:20 PM
No, there's some good stuff in here, thanks Luc and Greenlaw!

Luc_Feri
09-29-2015, 03:43 PM
Your very welcome Mike :)

Thanks and also from me for the other tips by Greenlaw

hdace
09-30-2015, 10:03 AM
I'm having some trouble editing the guides but the problem may be because my computer is a tablet or because I'm on Windows 10. Some tools work but others don't seem to respond. I'll try a normal mesh now just to be sure. BRB.

Okay, just tried a regular polygon mesh. The Mesh works fine so my guess is that Chronosculpt needs surface normals to work properly. Here you can see the Sculpt tool is active over the flat plane it just edited, but the tool cannot be activated over the guide chain:

129957

So to the original poster, no, CS is not a good tool for animating hair guides at all. But you should be able to 'brush edit' the hair guides in Layout using EditFX. I don't think I've used it for guides before though so let me get back to you on that.

Just to confirm, I have now finally gotten around to testing this again with ChronoSculpt version 1.0.1

It will not edit hair guides at all.

jboudreau
09-30-2015, 10:42 AM
Just to confirm, I have now finally gotten around to testing this again with ChronoSculpt version 1.0.1

It will not edit hair guides at all.

Hi

Actually it does there is a trick to it as Luc_Feri has stated and found out. You need to go into wireframe mode and use the drag net tool. Adjust your brush size by dragging with your RMB down.

I've tried it and it works.

Thanks,
Jason

hdace
09-30-2015, 12:17 PM
Ah, thanks so much. Works fine. I'll definitely be using this...

Luc_Feri
09-30-2015, 02:53 PM
130047

Hello again!!

Bulge Tool works on 2 point polys chains, no specific visual mode is needed, again a slight trick, the spherical falloff diameter needs to be just bigger than the polychains themselves. Left click and hold in the viewport and drag from left to right.

Seeing as editing polychains with lower number of verts might create quite blocky chains, run the smooth all algorithm afterwards!! This was just an extra 'smooth all' I did from the original polychains, the bottom result is not from the first image which I ammended with bulge.

130048

Finally, Negative% 'smooth all' kinda scales things inward and turns it a bit inside out and creates more twisting.

130049

hdace
09-30-2015, 08:31 PM
Cheers! What about Pin? By coincidence I have a badly behaving beard in the scene I'm working on. I want it to stay still for several seconds and it's moving before it's supposed to move. But it would appear Pin doesn't work with hair guides.

Greenlaw
10-01-2015, 02:47 AM
Are you talking about Syflex? Sorry, I've had that plugin for years but don't really have much experience with it. For Bullet, 'Pin' would be the weight map you select under Mesh Filter. If you want falloff, you'll also want to apply the weight map through a gradient in Shape Retention.

Regardless of which dynamics engine you use, you should probably add some preroll to allow for settling before the animation begins. Depending on the animation, that could be a dozen frames or a couple hundred. I don't know what your character's beard looks like but I would start at -50 or so and work up or down from there.

In Bullet, you can set your preroll in Start Offset, under the World tab. I'm not sure where that would be for Syflex.

G.

Luc_Feri
10-01-2015, 04:23 AM
Cheers! What about Pin? By coincidence I have a badly behaving beard in the scene I'm working on. I want it to stay still for several seconds and it's moving before it's supposed to move. But it would appear Pin doesn't work with hair guides.

I'll have a look into it later. :D

Had a play around, initial findings not good I'm afraid but I only spent 5 mins or so.

Greenlaw
10-01-2015, 10:53 AM
Oh, duh...we're still talking about Chronosculpt aren't we. Brain fart. I'm subscribed to way too many threads these days. :)

G.

hdace
10-02-2015, 02:34 PM
Thanks for trying to help guys. I eventually found a workaround, but yeah, Pin in CS with hair guides would be really great someday...