View Full Version : Couple of questions about Fiber Fx

11-09-2015, 09:24 AM
Hi gang,

At work so I can't test this yet but thought I would ask the experts so when I do get home in front of Lightwave, I'll have a plan of attack

I looked all weekend thru the manual, on line,etc... and still confused. 2 questions...

1) So, I have my character and want to style the hair, but having issues...can I make numerous texture maps (like sideburns, forehead, back, etc...) and in fiber fx make the guides for each group, THEN change the texture groups into one texture (like hair) and have all the guides still stay ? I figure it would make it easier for me to handle one layer instead of multiple ones

2) How do i make the hair stay on the model correctly when I apply face morphs? So if I create a beard for example, can I just move the morph of the face if he's smiling and Lightwave moves everything according to the poly movement? I am really stumped on that.

11-09-2015, 03:15 PM
Normally, you would define the separate areas by surfaces, not textures. For example, select the polygons you want for the sideburns, and call the surface 'sideburns'. In FiberFX, you'll see the surface appear and you can apply your special 'sideburns' settings to it. You can use texture masks to constrain within the surfaces if you wish--this is useful for getting more detailed that the polygon selection or for fall-off effects using gradients.

If you're going to use Edit Guides to comb your fibers, I know it can get a little tricky with multiple surfaces. I'll have to come back later with explanations.

For complicated hair styles, I personally find it most reliable to generate 'hard' fiber guides and either parent them to the character's bones or use the Use Bones From property to deform the guides. The advantage is that you don't have to worry about the vmap getting reset other unexpected problems that may arise if you're not careful. There are many ways to create 'hard' guides. You can use:

1. Edit Guides and Polygonize Mixed. The nice thing about this is that the guides can directly use the UV map from the mesh surface and it's fully compatible with Bullet.

2. Modeler tools. You can use FiberFX Strand Modeler, Strand Tool or any other Modeler tool like Rail Cloning and save curves or polygon chains to use as guides. If you run the guides through Strand Maker, it can create an appropriate weight map for Bullet.

3. Third Party tools like ZBrush FiberMesh. FiberMesh can output LightWave compatible curves which can be converted using Strand Maker.

The first method is easiest to work with because the guides are physically bound to the mesh. But if you need specific modeling that Edit Guides cannot provide, you can use the other options. There are drawbacks to be aware of when using externally modeled guides though. For example, the guides may not be ready for UV texturing or have the proper weighting or morph maps you want. To work around this, you'll want to use DrainBGVmap or Weighter 2.0 to transfer the desired data (if it exists) from your character mesh to the guides. That or just create it manually in Modeler.

FiberMesh will give you an amazing amount of control, but you should expect a steep learning curve and spend a lot of time practicing the necessary skills--and that's on top of learning ZBrush itself. If you're serious though, it's well worth the effort. That said, Edit Guides and Modeler can do an awful lot. Also, check out the Rail Cloning tutorial by Stuart Aiken over at Worley Labs. I used these method for over a decade for some very complicated hairstyles in many video game cinematics.

Speaking of complicated hairstyles, you may want to break the hair into separate objects--this makes is easier to apply different fiber properties to different parts of the head. It also makes it easier to edit the guidse and apply morphing, dynamics, and other deformations.

I hope what I wrote didn't add to your confusion. The thing is, there are many ways to apply and animate hair and fur in LightWave and the right method you choose depends on your designs and how you intend to animate it. The above covers the basics though so hopefully that will get you started with your R&D process.

FYI, you might find some helpful info in the Production Log thread below. Some of the info is a bit dated now because FiberFX has come a long way since I started that thread (almost three years ago) but I think the general info is still valid. There's probably a lot of useless info in there too--much of the thread is just a documentation of me figuring out FiberFX and mocap problems as I ran into them, and many of those issues may be irrelevant these days with LightWave 2015.3--but you might still pick up a few useful tips reading through my learning process.

Also, recently there have been a few FiberFX with useful info. Just do a search in the forums.

One of these days I want to do a proper 'using FiberFX' video series--I just need to somehow make the time for it. If I ever get around to that, I'll be sure to announce it in this forum.

Hope this helps.


11-09-2015, 09:37 PM
Thank you Greenlaw! I really appreciate your advice. It's really hard to jump into something that I have a very limited amount of time to learn, and with the help I get from all you fellow waivers, it makes it much more possible. :)