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View Full Version : 7.5b feature: Spline IK



garv
03-07-2003, 01:04 AM
Has anyone tried spline IK...I applied it to an object and nothing happened.
From it's desription I was expecting nodes to pop up...but nothing....

Anyone know what I might be doing wrong?

-garv

garv
03-07-2003, 01:06 AM
Correction....I called it Spline IK...it's spline control.....

-garv

kevman3d
03-07-2003, 01:40 AM
You need to follow the instructions in the Readme text file...

But in short, you need to do this:

**First** assign the Spline Control tool to either a button or a keyboard shortcut... You will NEED to do this to activate the tool.

Secondly, simply Add the 'SplineControl' deformer to your object

Thirdly, click the button, or press the keyboard shortcut you defined - A set of handles should appear in your object. Just click on them to select them, then move them with the mouse...

Its very cool - Similiar, but different to the excellent plugin FI_BezierBend...

As for the other plugins - Those texturing addons are pretty cool! :D Being able to cross-blend a complete surface with another using Surfmixer means a LOT of very cool stuff! Imagine creating a burning, bubbling lava-type surface on one mesh, then simply blend it into your landscape texture, using Gradients with some custom weightmaps, and some envelopes to animate the landscape being eaten away! :) I can see a lot of other cool things that could be created with this one!

The addition of 'Thickness' to gradients is also cool - Means you can control pretty much anything based on how thick a surface is! Deep oceans can be darker where they are deeper, Soup can be clear at the edges and thick in the middle, you can do some subsurface scattering style effects...

As for LScript 2.6 - Well, the page was giving me a 404 error, and all I could pull up from Bob's Lair was a bug fix log of some things in it, but no extra detail? Anyone know more on this?

garv
03-07-2003, 01:41 AM
I'm actually having a discussion with myself here...oh well...

If you have the same problem I had....First add spline control under the deform tab...than you must add Spline Control as a button to the menu...than click the button..your nodes will appear..amazing.

garv
03-07-2003, 01:45 AM
Hey kevman3d.....I didn't see your post until I refreshed....thanks for the info.

kevman3d
03-07-2003, 01:49 AM
Hahaha! :D

Yeh, I know the feeling - You *think* you just posted a response to a message, then after you post the reply, you magically find 1 or 2 posts inbetween the message and your response - And mostly they say the exact same thing! :)

Dams
03-07-2003, 05:07 AM
It work great take a look :D

WesComan
03-07-2003, 05:30 AM
Hmm...had a quick look at the spline control thing, but I have to say it looks pretty self enclosed and limited in it's uses. I may be wrong but it seems that when you animate the nodes you can't bring up the motion graph for them. Huh? Also, the nodes are completely internal to the effect, you can't parent them to any thing or drive them with expressions etc. :(

Arnie Cachelin
03-07-2003, 11:58 AM
Wes. you CAN access the spline handles' position envelopes from the graph editor. They are grouped under the item to which the displacement is applied. Don't be intimidated by the fact that there are 3 envelopes for each handle!

WesComan
03-07-2003, 12:40 PM
Aha..Excellent!

But blimey, not exactly the easiest or most streamlined way of working, but for a freebie I can't complain :)
Thanks for the reply.

faulknermano
03-07-2003, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Arnie Cachelin
Wes. you CAN access the spline handles' position envelopes from the graph editor. They are grouped under the item to which the displacement is applied. Don't be intimidated by the fact that there are 3 envelopes for each handle!

OKAY! darn... i've been looking at that all over the place (sort of). either i'm blind or this wasnt in the docs.. :D thanks arnie..

facial deluxe
03-07-2003, 05:28 PM
Tips here:
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=47986

Mike_RB
03-07-2003, 08:43 PM
So, now that we have access to the curves, can we rig some stuff up in the graph editor or with sliders to make a nice spline ikrig? For stuff like spines or tails?

Mike

pazur
03-08-2003, 08:15 AM
Did anybody figure it out how to apply expression or any other modifier to the spline control points? Applying works fine but both expressions and modifiers have no effect on spline points (although I see modified envelope in GE)...

meatycheesyboy
03-08-2003, 09:07 AM
After playing with it briefly, I have a few questions.

Since the nodes can be accessed through the graph editor, couldn't they also be parented to null, bones, etc through expressions?

And second, is there any way to control how the spline is applied to your object? I tried to apply it to a character but it just applies it length wise. Is there anyway to say, for example, apply ot only to the tail or only to the arm and not to the entire character? If not then it doesn't seem very useful for character work. At least not yet.

facial deluxe
03-08-2003, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by meatycheesyboy
After playing with it briefly, I have a few questions.

Since the nodes can be accessed through the graph editor, couldn't they also be parented to null, bones, etc through expressions?

And second, is there any way to control how the spline is applied to your object? I tried to apply it to a character but it just applies it length wise. Is there anyway to say, for example, apply ot only to the tail or only to the arm and not to the entire character? If not then it doesn't seem very useful for character work. At least not yet.
weightmaps should do it...

Castius
03-08-2003, 11:12 AM
expressions and other modiyers can be used but they don't effect the keys directly they need to be baked. Sliders can effect the keys directly though.

Using bones to scale the object along the spline is fun but be carefull if you scale to much you can mess up the scale of your object. And I have been unable to fix this after it's been done.

faulknermano
03-08-2003, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by pazur
Did anybody figure it out how to apply expression or any other modifier to the spline control points? Applying works fine but both expressions and modifiers have no effect on spline points (although I see modified envelope in GE)...

really? havent tried it.. but that sounds evil.

faulknermano
03-08-2003, 11:35 AM
do you guys know that there's a plugin out there called BC_SplineRod that uses layout nulls as guides and, more or less, behaves the same way.. just wanted to inform everyone of an alternative.

Castius
03-08-2003, 12:36 PM
bezier bend is a very nice plugin too. I created a race track designer with this plugin.

I used bezier bend to link 100 null to a strait mesh these nulls are being controlled by path controlers linked to a spline. So I can load any spine from modeler and the object would bend to shape of the spline. Then I used a second bezier plugin on top with another 100 nulls to control banking and further controls. Only problem (after my arm stoped hurting) was that I had to be at frame 1 for the nulls to be following the spline path correctly. Making an animated camera to see the mesh an imposiblity. So I use the same spline as the mesh and I bake a motion path and use cyclist and a slider to move the camera in stead of moveing time. but baking the motion path isn't very good. So i'd like figure out a better way to make the nulls follow the path or vis versa. finally I airbrush different profiles where i want in the track that are stored in endomorphs. fun stuff 8)

Can't wait to see what other ways people find uses for splinecontrol.

http://www.steelronin.com/xocombat/2d/T_designer.jpg

faulknermano
03-08-2003, 10:24 PM
i'm gong to try bezier bend... by chance, have you tried bc_splinerod? i was wondering how you compare them...

SplineGod
03-08-2003, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by Castius
expressions and other modiyers can be used but they don't effect the keys directly they need to be baked. Sliders can effect the keys directly though.

Using bones to scale the object along the spline is fun but be carefull if you scale to much you can mess up the scale of your object. And I have been unable to fix this after it's been done.
That fact limits them greatly IMO. It would have been nice if the nodes could be treated as objects with the ability to be parented to other objects. It would also have been nice to be able to use expressions and modifers to relate the nodes to other things as well. Baking them is a very tedious way to have to do it. At least other objects can be linked to the the spline nodes via expressions...oh well.
BTW does anyone know where I Can find BC_Splinerod?
I went to their site but cant find it.

kevman3d
03-08-2003, 11:56 PM
Like Castius, I'm a user of FI_BezierBend also... Only thing I can see that makes the LW SplineControl a little nicer is that it can spline along any axis, where BezierBend is along Z (however that's not really too much of a limitation), and obviously that you can SEE the spline in openGL (something that could be nice in BezierBend)

Like Larry says, its nice to be able to use the nodes for other things - In FI_BezierBend, for instance, I used it to bend a river along a path, and then used the nulls to also control 'froth' effects at the bases of waterfalls, etc. The nulls became references for displacements, textures, etc.

Also, BezierBends nulls can go beyond the object - Another thing I used it for was to lay out a winding path through a scene and then just slide the object along the Z axis - It deforms and follows the long winding spline path - One of those cool things you can do with Bezierbend other then just deform objects - Imagine bendy flying logo's, for instance! :) And by deactivating the stretch option, you can keep the objects true form, so making funky rollercoasters, trains, and other things that follow paths is easy too!

SplineControl is pretty good for what it does, and its nice and interactive - Its also nice to see it in LW as a Newtek-addition too! So thanks Newtek... :)

If you want other options not offered in this tool - Like people have noted, there's external tools like FI_BezierBend and SplineRod you can choose from.

SplineGod
03-09-2003, 12:07 AM
Its not as robust as I would like it to be but hey, it does what it does. I doesnt override bones but sort of blends with em.

Castius
03-09-2003, 12:26 AM
on his site he states that he took away all the 5.6 plugins. I'm guessing they don't work in newer versions and didn't want any problems with that.

faulknermano
03-09-2003, 12:38 AM
Originally posted by Castius
on his site he states that he took away all the 5.6 plugins. I'm guessing they don't work in newer versions and didn't want any problems with that.

i see. i have bc_splinerod right here and it seems to work well with 7..hmm... oh well. :)

SplineGod
03-09-2003, 12:46 AM
can you send it to me? :)

Castius
03-09-2003, 12:46 AM
Here as well please.

SplineGod
03-09-2003, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by kevman3d
Like Castius, I'm a user of FI_BezierBend also... Only thing I can see that makes the LW SplineControl a little nicer is that it can spline along any axis, where BezierBend is along Z (however that's not really too much of a limitation), and obviously that you can SEE the spline in openGL (something that could be nice in BezierBend)

Like Larry says, its nice to be able to use the nodes for other things - In FI_BezierBend, for instance, I used it to bend a river along a path, and then used the nulls to also control 'froth' effects at the bases of waterfalls, etc. The nulls became references for displacements, textures, etc.

Also, BezierBends nulls can go beyond the object - Another thing I used it for was to lay out a winding path through a scene and then just slide the object along the Z axis - It deforms and follows the long winding spline path - One of those cool things you can do with Bezierbend other then just deform objects - Imagine bendy flying logo's, for instance! :) And by deactivating the stretch option, you can keep the objects true form, so making funky rollercoasters, trains, and other things that follow paths is easy too!

SplineControl is pretty good for what it does, and its nice and interactive - Its also nice to see it in LW as a Newtek-addition too! So thanks Newtek... :)

If you want other options not offered in this tool - Like people have noted, there's external tools like FI_BezierBend and SplineRod you can choose from.

It looks like you can attach objects so the splne nodes via expressions etc but not the other way around (in realtime at least) without baking the motions.

faulknermano
03-09-2003, 04:16 AM
Originally posted by SplineGod
can you send it to me? :)

heck no. why would i want to do THAT?



:D

faulknermano
03-09-2003, 04:18 AM
Originally posted by Castius
Here as well please.

your email is unavailble. shoot one email to [email protected] and i'll reply back.

hrgiger
03-09-2003, 03:07 PM
Hmmm, I can't get the plug-in to work. I installed the 7.5b upgrade, added the plug-ins to Layout (I believe it said 9 plug-ins sucessfully installed, and even added a button for it in the layout interface. Whenever I hit the button, it just tells me that the plug-in has failed to start.

Anybody have any clue as to why that would happen?

facial deluxe
03-09-2003, 03:24 PM
HR,
You did alright for the pluggin install, but don't forget to add the plug in the Object Properties/Deform/Add displacement

SplineGod
03-09-2003, 04:00 PM
Has anyone figured out how to get weight maps to work with this tool?

hrgiger
03-09-2003, 04:14 PM
That did it. Thanks Oliver! ( I think it was Oliver wasn't it?)

It looks like a very useful tool. I'm curious to see how people use it for things other then tentacles and cables and such.

Castius
03-09-2003, 04:23 PM
Sure God it just effects influence. I Think the stretch option should not be so close. It gives the impression they are related.

SplineGod
03-09-2003, 04:35 PM
Weight maps in any combination dont seem to have any effect for me at least

Castius
03-09-2003, 04:36 PM
Newtek add del keys and a envilope botton please. I had faith in you Newtek I figured out how to use this plugin correctly but could you have made it any more difficult? Unless you like testing the abiltys of your users.

You will notice that moving the pline and setting rest post will mess up your object. If you want to use the spline to imfluence your object in other places like add it for eye brows. Just turn off splineControl modiyer. You will see that you can still edit the spline. Position it and hit set rest pos. then simple turn it the modifer back on. bingo!

works here
http://www.steelronin.com/temp/SplineC.jpg

Things to add.
spline must remain strait when rested. I tryed to make them form a circle, bad results Not suprized just just pushign the limits. Also i was unable to add multiple splineControl modifers. 8(

Userdelta
03-10-2003, 08:09 AM
another thing that is very annoying is that you have to chase the nodes around every time you move them. even while its selected, i have to place the cursor directly on it to move the thing and then my cursor doesnt even move with it...
then you cant select more then one node at a time
and only one instance per object.

just for those reasons alone, i would not use it. and then i dont forsee animating any hose or tenticle soon.

this feature needs a lot of improvments, right now its a waste of time.

garv
03-10-2003, 02:58 PM
I really hope Newtek listens to what people are saying about spline control.....this plug seems like an attempt at adding better animation controls to lightwave.....but it's pretty useless for all but the most basic control......they got halfway there and stopped.


and I hope that's my final word on Spline Control.

mav3rick
03-14-2003, 04:01 AM
spline believe it or not but i really think that newtek put some beta of splinecontrol... i really can't believe there is no E button and weight map option must be somethin they planned but didn't put in i mean heh they created button that does nothin than just read WEIGHT map names:)
let's hope they will ship full version of splinecontrol with lsc 2.6 fix..... i mean it is cool tool just miss that E , weight map limitator and control points by expression...
so newtek be nice fix it for us.....