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djwaterman
12-20-2015, 05:51 AM
Who here is accomplished in 3DCoat and LW workflow? I've been playing around and trying to work out how to export the correct surface maps for LW. For example this surface here.

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What settings to use?

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When I export I don't think I'm getting the white paint layer that is above the metal layer (look at my layers there). My color map has no color, just grey scale when exported, so it looks to me that the paint layer (an eggshell white color) is just not being seen.

I though I might have needed to merge the layers down, but when I merged the paint layer down onto the metal layer I lost the reflection in the worn edges.

Of course the next question is about the preferred nodal setup to plug these maps into, but perhaps that can come later as right now I need to understand what I need to do to just export the maps correctly.

djwaterman
12-20-2015, 08:28 AM
I'm now certain that my maps aren't seeing the color layer. If you look at my layers and the texture image view, that orange color layer isn't showing up, just the metal layer underneath.

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djwaterman
12-20-2015, 08:33 AM
I think I was being confused by the preview window that shows you what the surface will look like when painted, I hadn't actually painted on it yet.

Surrealist.
12-20-2015, 08:48 AM
I am not a 3D Coat user so I don't know why you are not getting he color layer. But I can advise you on the maps and nodal.

All you need is the Color, Roughness, Metalness and Normal.

The nodal set up is fairly easy.

First you will need the Conductor Node, fond in Add Node/Materials/Conductor

Plug that into the Material input of the surface.

Then so far my workflow has been to go into the node and set spec to 100. You can alternately set roughness to 100 just if you see the effect. For some metals you might want to go to advanced and turn on reflection blur. There does not seem to be a setting for this unfortunately.

So basically now that I am here I know I have reflections on my environment.

Then I add an image node and plug in the metallness (metallic) texture into the Spec input. If this image is working you should see white where there is paint and the reflection showing through on the parts of the image that are white. In the case of edge scratches on painted metal this image should be high contrast. If it is not working you can adjust the image and try again.

If all is well then plug in the color image to color and finally the roughness into roughness. Add a 3D Normal Map node for the normal map and connect that.

Alternatively you can check the normal map before connecting any other nodes so you can see that effect on the reflection.

That is my sanity check way of doing it.

Also make sure you are using a linear preset. Probably you do that anyway but worth mentioning.

erikals
12-20-2015, 08:56 AM
did you ask on the 3DCoat forum?
http://3dcoat.com/forum/index.php?showforum=4

djwaterman
12-20-2015, 11:09 AM
I am not a 3D Coat user so I don't know why you are not getting he color layer. But I can advise you on the maps and nodal.

All you need is the Color, Roughness, Metalness and Normal.

The nodal set up is fairly easy.

First you will need the Conductor Node, fond in Add Node/Materials/Conductor

Plug that into the Material input of the surface.

Then so far my workflow has been to go into the node and set spec to 100. You can alternately set roughness to 100 just if you see the effect. For some metals you might want to go to advanced and turn on reflection blur. There does not seem to be a setting for this unfortunately.

So basically now that I am here I know I have reflections on my environment.

Then I add an image node and plug in the metallness (metallic) texture into the Spec input. If this image is working you should see white where there is paint and the reflection showing through on the parts of the image that are white. In the case of edge scratches on painted metal this image should be high contrast. If it is not working you can adjust the image and try again.

If all is well then plug in the color image to color and finally the roughness into roughness. Add a 3D Normal Map node for the normal map and connect that.

Alternatively you can check the normal map before connecting any other nodes so you can see that effect on the reflection.

That is my sanity check way of doing it.

Also make sure you are using a linear preset. Probably you do that anyway but worth mentioning.

I pretty much did what you've suggested, but I feel the Delta node works better than Conductor. However the grey scale maps need adjusting, it never is just a perfect match to the look in 3D Coat with the maps as they are. I know Tobian designed a PBR node that is available if you are on Facebook. I've tried some other nodes that members have posted but I'm not sure they are accurate as they channel images through the specular which we shouldn't be using. I'm just using the demo at the moment to see if it could become a workflow solution for me in the long run. I like it, just need to get the export into LW correct as possible.

Surrealist.
12-20-2015, 12:41 PM
OK very good. I will check out the Delta again as well. I am still working on this myself in fact. (not with 3D Coat). But what other node is that? I do have Facebook and already joined the LW group.

djwaterman
12-20-2015, 09:19 PM
Andrew Comb, Pluto Station. http://www.andrewcomb.com/

I'm not on Facebook, but I think he avoids the forums these days and Facebook is where he communicates.

This node solution shouldn't be too complicated, it should just be able to plug your four maps into it and duplicate very closely whatever was done in Substance, Quixel or 3DCoat. No doubt this will be easier with PBR but until then we should have the ability to get very close.

Surrealist.
12-20-2015, 09:50 PM
I would hope so, but even with PBR I find myself fiddling. At least I did in Mantra and in UE both of which have PBR. Renderman 20 has a similar workflow, but somehow it never transfers over exactly. And I think it has mostly to do with the display solution in the painting apps. It is something I am very much experimenting with and perfecting constantly.

On that note I played with the Delta node. Nice option. The reflection blur is much more heavy handed. Great for some things, but I think it will be a combination of the two that gets it done. And also the possibility to use a material mixer with both.

Thanks for the link.

erikals
12-20-2015, 10:34 PM
did you check these?
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?144061-PBR-viewport-3dcoat
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?146223-PBR-Nodal

djwaterman
12-20-2015, 10:46 PM
I found a version of the Comb node here http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?149089-Quixel-Suite-2-0&highlight=Substance+node

I discovered I already had it actually, however when I tried it out it seemed to pretty much remove the gloss(roughness) layer from the result.

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My attempt using a Delta node seems to be a better match to the original.

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This is what that looks like, in the delta nodes blur reflections is turned on.

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The business with the Schlicks Approximation node on the reflection input was just my attempt to get some fresnel, and I doubled up the image inputs so that both the facing and grazing angle are working with the image input, the grazing image input was set at 50% opacity on a near white BG color while the facing image input is just default. I mean this is where it becomes creative rather than accurate.

As I mentioned before, some of the greyscale images had to be edited in the image editor to get a better look, again this is not science. I think a perfect solution would be if someone was able to make a node structure that filtered these images to give the closest possible likeness in results to the look in 3DCoat. I don't yet know the program well enough to figure out how to match other factors like the BG HDR image or lighting(if there is any in 3DCoat). But the best way would to be able to closely set up a LW scene with the same environment and lighting as 3DCoat and then attempt to get like results with the nodes.

djwaterman
12-20-2015, 11:14 PM
did you check these?
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?144061-PBR-viewport-3dcoat
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?146223-PBR-Nodal

Yeah, I have that node as well, I don't think I tried it yet, I'll give it a go.

djwaterman
12-21-2015, 12:03 AM
Here is the result using the 'MSherak' Node. This is the closest match apart from one thing. The color (Albedo) does not appear to be working.

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Apart from that the gloss is perfect. When I open the compound node it all gets beyond me and I can't figure what might be going wrong. In the original post (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?146223-PBR-Nodal) he mentions that it for VPR only, but I rendered it and it look the same. Actually I don't understand the need for something that is VPR only.

MSherak, if you're out there, what do I need to do to make this work?

djwaterman
12-21-2015, 12:16 AM
It seems for it to work I need to also plug in the AO map (which I've not been using for any of these).

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djwaterman
12-21-2015, 12:19 AM
If I want to lose the Ambient Occlusion I can change the background color to white and set the image opacity to zero.

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Surrealist.
12-21-2015, 04:16 AM
Looking good. Good to see it starting to come together.

djwaterman
12-22-2015, 12:59 AM
I'm continuing to use the 'MSherak' Node, this wood texture had no 'metalness' map to export, so I just used the Background color value in that image node.

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I noticed with my previous maps, since I had set them to be PNG's, they all came through with transparency, I'm not sure that's helpful so this time I'm exporting them as JPGs. Does anyone know what the deal is with the transparency of exported maps?

spherical
12-22-2015, 01:32 AM
LightWave has, historically, not exactly done well with the JPEG format. Many issues over various channels, depending upon what you are attempting. Better to use another format.

djwaterman
12-22-2015, 05:58 AM
At the moment I haven't figured out how to tell 3DCoat not to create alpha transparency on everything, so I just set it to jpgs since they can't have alphas. Do you use 3DCoat?

Surrealist.
12-22-2015, 07:01 AM
Interesting, wonder what happened with this. It was a while ago:

http://3dcoat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=691

djwaterman
12-22-2015, 09:11 AM
There is this...

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Some check boxes on that menu to dis-able alphas.

djwaterman
12-22-2015, 09:44 AM
I'm doing the process of surfacing a little one man utility craft I was working on, I want to get the process down with an actual object. I'm pretty happy with the way the textures transfer over to LW with the MSherak node. It would be better if it was my own node so I could understand more what it is doing, but I like the results I get using it even if it is a bit mysterious to me.

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I'm using sunsky environment for the backdrop, from this angle it almost looks like an actual composed shot.

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I'm holding back on the wear and tear, I just want it to be subtle. Next I need to work out how to do decals and lettering, all that sort of stuff.

Ma3rk
12-22-2015, 10:20 AM
Looking forward to having other LWavers using 3D Coat to ask questions down the road. I took advantage of the holiday pricing yesterday, but local service provider had some issues so couldn't d/l anything until this morning. The programs has exponentially matured since I fiddled with it a few years ago, that's for sure. Originally got it just for the 3D painting aspect & had no idea that it can sculpt too until I started to dig through the tons of videos.

djwaterman
12-22-2015, 01:06 PM
Yeah, it feels good to learn on. I'm just running the demo ATM. Just worked out how to apply decals, it's pretty cool the way its done.

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Surrealist.
12-22-2015, 04:22 PM
Looking nice.

I wonder if anyone could share how the sculpt tools are compared to Zbrush.

djwaterman
12-22-2015, 07:16 PM
I probably wont be looking into that, 3D Coat has a lot of funtions, UV mapping and retopo as well as voxel sculpting. When I look at gallery examples for sculpting it looks like it may lack a degree of high fidelity that Zbrush work exhibits. I'd love to hear someone explain if that's not the case.

lightscape
12-22-2015, 08:06 PM
Looking nice.

I wonder if anyone could share how the sculpt tools are compared to Zbrush.

To compare

zbrush is quad based mesh sculpting with sculpting layers based on mesh resolution. That's its major strength because you can have a low poly cage subdivided into millions of polys and do clean displacements and minute details then bake them out with ease. Goz is a big factor with zbrush.

3dcoat has multiple ways to sculpt.
Image based sculpting in paintroom is similar to modo's image based sculpting. You can blend layers to mimic zbrush's sculpting layers to have flexibility.
But displacment maps and details are heavily dependent on your texture image resolution. Its good enough for most people though.
Voxel and Surface sculpting is freeform sculpting so you don't worry about anything and just sculpt like real clay. Downside to this method is the need to retopo the sculpt and bake the displacement and details when you're done. Always tedious.
3dcoat freeform sculpting was great before zbrush added dynamesh.


Zbrush is still king of sculpting. 3dcoat is best in class with handpainting, retopo with decent sculpting.

Surrealist.
12-22-2015, 11:27 PM
Pretty much as I figured it. More or less why I passed on it for Zbrush when I first tried it.

However, it has gotten some nice features since then. Still not sure if I want to add it to the pipeline, but it is one of those apps that continues to entice with improvements. :)

lightscape
12-23-2015, 04:59 AM
Pretty much as I figured it. More or less why I passed on it for Zbrush when I first tried it.

However, it has gotten some nice features since then. Still not sure if I want to add it to the pipeline, but it is one of those apps that continues to entice with improvements. :)

But lately I've been using 3dcoat more and more for most projects. Its not everyday that a project needs high film quality sculpts especially with budgets going down. 3dcoat is more than capable to create displacements and detail maps for 80% of the stuff you throw at it. Then 3dc pbr and smart materials covers what subnstance, quixel can do.

3dc is $100 off till january with more flexible license and full commercial.
http://3dcoat.com/home/
zbrush is non-transferable with a higher price tag than 3dc. The others have indie licensing which can't really work with a profitable company. So all in all 3dc is bang for the buck for what it can do.

hrgiger
12-23-2015, 07:09 AM
That's tempting on 3DC with $100 off. I use zbrush and love it but I'd alost buy 3DC just for the retopo.

lardbros
12-23-2015, 07:36 AM
I don't often talk about it, but I use 3d Coat and LightWave. I haven't used it a huge amount, as I tend to bake my maps from LightWave, but sometimes 3d Coat suits the task at hand much better... so have used it for some polygon crunching of high-res assets, and then painting small normal map details in for game engine models.
I find the interface is generally confusing, and the different 'rooms' aren't all that easy to move items from one to the other and knowing how it's going to transfer etc. I'm sure with some UI refinement it's capable of anything zbrush is.
I've found a few bugs with some tools, like the path stamp tool, it seems to rotate the image 90 degrees in the opengl preview... making it annoying to use. It may have been fixed in the latest build though??

Other than that... it's pretty incredible for simply UV-ing. Very fast, and extremely easy if you can traverse the slightly odd UI conventions.

DJ, your experiments/work with 3d Coat look great by the way! Great stuff!

djwaterman
01-01-2016, 03:16 AM
Just an update, in the latest LW newsletter there is a link to a substance PBR node by Andrew Comb and Umberto Celentano along with a PDF on how to use it. Thanks guys.

https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/article/substance-painter-in-lightwave/

Surrealist.
01-01-2016, 04:56 AM
Cool, thanks for the heads up.

eon5
01-01-2016, 05:20 AM
I hope it can be useful

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AnQy23x-yc

DrStrik9
01-01-2016, 11:43 AM
Just an update, in the latest LW newsletter there is a link to a substance PBR node by Andrew Comb and Umberto Celentano along with a PDF on how to use it. Thanks guys.

https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/article/substance-painter-in-lightwave/

This may be a stupid question, but where does the "nodes" file go? There doesn't seem to be any reference to this in the pdf ... ?

Marander
01-01-2016, 12:23 PM
This may be a stupid question, but where does the "nodes" file go? There doesn't seem to be any reference to this in the pdf ... ?

Just copy it to a location of your choice and in the texture panel in the node editor select Edit - Import Nodes and choose the .nod file.

DrStrik9
01-01-2016, 01:58 PM
Just copy it to a location of your choice and in the texture panel in the node editor select Edit - Import Nodes and choose the .nod file.

Yes of course. DOH. Thanks.

jackany
01-03-2016, 02:44 PM
I hope it can be useful

Sure thanks!
Looks pretty straightforward and was effectively the last nudge for buying 3D Coat... :)

(Which is currently on sale on their website and even more on Steam)

Dexter2999
01-03-2016, 03:46 PM
That's tempting on 3DC with $100 off. I use zbrush and love it but I'd alost buy 3DC just for the retopo.

I remember watching a video about retopo, where the presenter had a Zbrush model in Maya but stated he prefers 3DCoat's retopo.

djwaterman
01-03-2016, 06:59 PM
I hope it can be useful

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AnQy23x-yc

To a point, but the nodal set up they use is incorrect and delivers a false result, note how the dirt map has become a bump texture and the glossiness is global with no reference to the textures created in 3DCoat.

I'm not sure I'm 100% with the Andrew Comb and Umberto Celentano node either, I tried it and found the result interesting but not certain it's really delivering an accurate result.

eon5
01-04-2016, 03:49 PM
What about Massimo Zuanazzi's post ?
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201017863805479&set=pcb.764375100335158&type=3&theater

djwaterman
01-05-2016, 09:47 PM
I may have spoken too soon about the Andrew Comb and Umberto Celentano node, it seems to be working better today for some reason so I may have done something wrong last time when testing it.

djwaterman
01-11-2016, 04:41 PM
Well I've really experimented every which way now, I have also tried out the carpaint node, but after a number of tests I think this is the best way for me, being it closely matches the material I designed in 3DCoat and it is the fastest to render.

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It's also not hiding any complex node structures so I know exactly what's going on, I think so anyway.

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This set up gives me the same look as the one I had with car paint but without the longer render times.

eon5
01-11-2016, 05:00 PM
nice !!

erikals
01-11-2016, 06:02 PM
Very nice indeed!
..may i ask the render time?

madno
01-11-2016, 10:36 PM
Render time seems to be in the filename (lower right corner of the image), I think.

djwaterman
01-11-2016, 11:03 PM
Very nice indeed!
..may i ask the render time?

It's written in the image names. I think the sampling was set to 40 and the shading sampling set to 16.

erikals
01-12-2016, 11:33 AM
ah... so from 3 to 14 minutes... quite alright.  http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

DrStrik9
01-12-2016, 05:22 PM
Nice work, DJ. I hope this 2016 PBR thing will be as good as I want it to be. :+)

djwaterman
02-17-2016, 08:34 AM
I've been continuing my testing with 3DCoat, and I've moved onto a better node solution that I think delivers the most accurate transfer method, I'll put it up later and try to explain it, it's isn't too complicated and I think even us node dummies can see what's going on, which means you can play a bit without thinking you'll break something hidden deep within the nodal web. In the meantime I have been slowly getting to grips with the 3DCoat painting process, here is my first serious attempt at painting up a specific designed surface treatment on a simple ball. All the protruding detail is made with black and white alpha maps, initially I was just going to have normal maps but decided to export a displacement map and use it in Lightwave.

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spherical
02-17-2016, 02:21 PM
Nice. Can you show the underlying wires of the base mesh, so we can see the level of subdivision in relation to the displaced details? I've been wanting to get deeper into displacement (not to make a pun) in LightWave, but have yet to jump. Of course, now that finally I have Octane, I suppose the division level isn't as important.

djwaterman
02-17-2016, 06:46 PM
I set the render SubPatch level to 16 on the per polygon level setting. Followed the William Vaughan tutorial, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua0gRkeuspU

I needed to alter some of the numbers he used to make it work, in the Multiply node.

With micro poly displacment in Octane you can bypass all this and get superior results straight up, LWG simply must implement that as soon as they can.

One thing I learned here is that the better results are from alpha maps that have a slight gradient bevel on their edges and not just a sharp termination from dark to light. You can see on the renders how shapes coming out with beveled edges are very clean while shapes pushing straight up from the normals look stretched.

spherical
02-17-2016, 06:50 PM
I did notice that chamfer and wondered how you accomplished it. We just got a BB-8 droid and your ball looks like his main body with treads. :D

djwaterman
02-17-2016, 11:14 PM
Here is a comparison of the types of alpha maps to look out for, with and without beveled gradient edges.

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A comparison between just the normal maps and then with displacement (you can export a displacement map out of 3DCoat if you need it)

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Just because you asked here's the actual mesh', I set the render SubPatch level to 16.

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Waves of light
02-18-2016, 03:23 AM
I set the render SubPatch level to 16 on the per polygon level setting. Followed the William Vaughan tutorial, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua0gRkeuspU

I needed to alter some of the numbers he used to make it work, in the Multiply node.

With micro poly displacment in Octane you can bypass all this and get superior results straight up, LWG simply must implement that as soon as they can.

One thing I learned here is that the better results are from alpha maps that have a slight gradient bevel on their edges and not just a sharp termination from dark to light. You can see on the renders how shapes coming out with beveled edges are very clean while shapes pushing straight up from the normals look stretched.

Thanks for sharing DJ - so nice results and experimental work.

djwaterman
11-04-2016, 06:05 AM
I was looking into Unreal engine and came across a free give-away of PBR materials at http://freepbr.com/
I thought I'd test drive them in Lightwave with my method of nodes which I'll try to explain in better detail in another post, but here are a bunch of renders of the different surfaces.

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djwaterman
11-04-2016, 06:09 AM
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djwaterman
11-04-2016, 06:11 AM
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I'll write about the process when I can figure out how to do it in a way that doesn't make it sound more complicated than it actually is.

fishhead
11-04-2016, 06:50 AM
These surely look great!!
I would be really interested in the way you went about it.

Julez4001
11-04-2016, 07:42 AM
Well I've really experimented every which way now, I have also tried out the carpaint node, but after a number of tests I think this is the best way for me, being it closely matches the material I designed in 3DCoat and it is the fastest to render.

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It's also not hiding any complex node structures so I know exactly what's going on, I think so anyway.

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This set up gives me the same look as the one I had with car paint but without the longer render times.

Did you rename some of the nodes - if so, can you list what they were before you renamed them.

djwaterman
11-04-2016, 09:58 AM
No, I'm not doing it that way anymore. I have a basic setup that works for any type of image inputs, specifically for the metalness type of PBR materials, but sometimes the "metalness" component is missing or not needed. Anyway, the reason I don't just want to show a screen grab and leave it at that is because its adaptable and can be altered in different ways even though the primary node structure remains. I may have to do a video or something. The best thing is it's not cryptic and complicated. It will also become irrelevant when the next iteration of LW comes out. Until then, its totally viable to use PBR materials in LW, I think for many years this was so, but the programs for creating good PBR image maps wasn't around so there was always a big element of guesswork when creating image maps (in Photoshop for example).

S0nny
11-05-2016, 10:15 AM
Interesting test Dj.
I?m not sure because I don't know much about your nodes and scene setup, but it seems to me that there's some problem with the fresnel on some rough surfaces (fresnel should be affected by roughness at glancing angles)

Anyway, one of the biggest problem in replicating good pbr (and non) surfacing in Lw is that without a different BRDF model, the Lw reflection blur is gonna look always ugly and not realistic, no matter what, in comparison to any other sw who uses something different like GGX.

An updated Pom's gaussian reflection node would be a good alternative, right now it's broken, but I guess he doesn't do stuff for lw anymore.
Let's hope that for the next Lw lw3dg thought about the reflection blur, because is extremely needed right now.