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View Full Version : Unreal Foliage - Can we do this in Lightwave?



SteveH
01-27-2017, 08:39 AM
The title says it all - interactive foliage. It looks really cool. I'm not sure how it does it - but do you guys think LW can do this - or will be able to do this when LW Next comes out sometime in the future. In a galaxy far far away.....

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/6z0zW

hrgiger
01-27-2017, 11:32 AM
Well these aren't real time physics or anything like that. These typically are pre-defined or procedural events that are triggered by other meshes as they enter the plants bounding volume set up through Unreals Blueprint node system. You'll notice as the ball rolls over the plants, they all sort of flatten out the same way like all at once and not just the branches that the ball rolls over. This would be similar to creating a morph of a plant flattening in LW and activating that morph when an object moves over it. Not actually using anything like Bullet. Game engines are full of albeit, very clever tricks to do all the things they do in real time.

OlaHaldor
01-27-2017, 01:50 PM
Um.. It is physics. Just not real physics. It is indeed interactive and real-time, and basically what you set up is "this item bends as some heavier force is applied". They are not pre-animated like that.

To make this work while looking more or less complex or impressive during play, the plants and leafs are cards. Which means: one plant can be something like 5-10 polygons. The more polygons there are, the more detailed it will look as it sways and gives way as you run through it.

I'd say: YES - it's possible to get something like this in LightWave. I haven't tried it, but the technique isn't that complex really.


You can du exactly the same to a character. At any given time you can completely shut down the function of the character, and make it into a ragdoll. Guess what ? It's real-time and will fall and bounce and tumble according to whatever physical objects in its way, be it a rock, some stairs, a wall, or even a destructible wall, which then will collapse too, with real-time collisions.

It is simplified, not scientifically correct, but for a game it works.

hrgiger
01-27-2017, 07:35 PM
Well mainly I'm talking about most of the motion in plants as them blowing in the wind are usually done by setting a procedural noise that provides a constant motion. I'd have to know how he set up this particular pack but the plants flattening as the rock rolls over them looks pre-animated but yes, the plants do dynamically react to simple collisions. You can make your static meshes dynamic and react to forces but yes, quite simplified compared to a system like Bullet.

I'm just wondering what good something like that would do in LightWave as you typically don't use LW in a real time setting. Its kind of like how some dynamic systems are dynamic in the sense you can pick up an object with your cursor and drop it on other objects and have them collide. Not a result you'd typically render.

samurai_x
01-27-2017, 11:08 PM
Unreal is awesome!

https://vimeo.com/201269628#at=80

samurai_x
01-27-2017, 11:12 PM
I'm just wondering what good something like that would do in LightWave as you typically don't use LW in a real time setting.

When you do animation projects its extremely useful and a big timesaver.
Make nice button with scripts made 3dmax useful for many years.

Surrealist.
01-28-2017, 01:06 AM
The title says it all - interactive foliage. It looks really cool. I'm not sure how it does it - but do you guys think LW can do this - or will be able to do this when LW Next comes out sometime in the future. In a galaxy far far away.....

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/6z0zW

If you wanted this to be interactive in Bullet, with LightWave, you can, to a degree.

In this example in Unreal it is interactive mainly because there are real-time controls on the character. What I mean is yes the physics is real time. But mainly it is th4e fact you are moving the character in real time by triggering in-game animations with player input.

Currenly in LightWave there is no interactive animating - exactly. Normallly you'd set your keyframes or load in MOCAP animations, Alembic and so on.

To get a near realtime phsycis effect in LW you do that with collision objects with a low overhead, such as capsules for the legs and low poly plants with image maps and clip maps. There is also Metalink which could be a way to tie in low poly collisions for the high poly plants.

At any rate with your animations all set, you'd hit play. And the real time feedback would be dependent on your scene overhead and set up.

Until LighWave gets a real time tool to trigger different animatuons, the example you showed would not really apply here. Maybe there is a plugin I am not aware of. Is there?

There are currently some real time implementations of Bullet. Where you can interact with bullet objects in real time. I think Houdini and Maya are set up this way. Isn't there a way to set this up in LightWave. I seem to remember there was.

At anyrate I think the things to look for are:

1) A way to trigger animations in real time
2) Faster viewport performance - currnetly limited by your hardware. Future versions of LightWave should help
3)Current version implementation in LightWave of the Bullet Library.

The current version of Bullet adds more real time features:

http://bulletphysics.org/wordpress/

If/when LightWave gets an upgrade to this, it should improve on that.

Every4thPixel
01-31-2017, 11:20 AM
I just released a plugin that can trigger mdd files for example. http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?152658-NEW-free-Trigger-node-plugin!

Surrealist.
01-31-2017, 12:17 PM
Nice. I'll have to check it out.