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jeric_synergy
04-30-2017, 05:00 PM
Trying to model a very simple thing, but it's harder than expected. (Maybe my expectations are off.)

The description is laughably simple: a coat hook type thing made from steel strap. The top leans out at one angle from a vertical piece, and the bottom hooks around in 2 angles, so 4 segments.

What's keeping me from just bending a box into shape is the way that things get compressed at the bends. Is there a way to get a realistic bend, like one would see in a metal strap, or do people just tweek meshes into reasonableness?

Sensei
04-30-2017, 05:42 PM
Google provides a lot of answers and designs
https://www.google.com/search?q=coat+hook
Maybe you should place link to the one you're interested in?

Why not make plane, and spline 2nd layer, and extrude it along spline?

jeric_synergy
04-30-2017, 06:18 PM
Why not make plane, and spline 2nd layer, and extrude it along spline?
That probably would've been the smart thing to do. I'm quite out of practice.

Complicating matters is the ends of the strap are semi-circular. This thing is a snap to make in the RW.

My Order Of Operations is lacking: what I'll probably do is:

make a series of 2pt polys at the appropriate angles,
copy to a new layer and straighten out (as a length guide),
make a Disk,
Extend the bottom half to the appropriate length (so I have 2 semi-circular ends),
slice as necessary,
use the first layer as a guide and Rotate the various pieces into place.

Inelegant, but adequate to the task. It helps just to write it out.

wingzeta
04-30-2017, 06:21 PM
Use the free Px_bezier plugin in "belt" mode. just draw out your spline, and adjust curves, thickness, and segments to your liking and hit enter.

Oh, just tried it, and you will have to use "Thicken" after, as belt polygon type doesn't seem to have a thickness setting.

wingzeta
04-30-2017, 06:53 PM
136678

I made it double sided, so it would be easier to see. You can adjust the curve as much as you need. Several of the most important settings are under "tube" even when you are making a belt instead of a tube. Just play around with it, and you will see all the cool things you can do with it. I love this plugin. You could make the semi-circular ends after this stage pretty easily.

prometheus
05-01-2017, 05:42 AM
as mentioned, px bezier should be enough..but there are so many ways..but without px...just model your piece straigh with thickness or less thickness where needed, or taper it at one end, modify with spline guide command and bend the curve as you want. after that just select parts and point normal move to make it thinner or thicken, smooth the part in the end.

you can also make a separate guide curve in the background and use that with spline guides get background curve.
There is als some px conform or bend based on a curve as well.

Personally I would rather use blenders skin modifier and run that on a curve, the curve can be edited at any time without being destroyed and running a subd modifier and then a laplacian smoother modifier makes that nice surface tension smoothing, and with ctrl-for selected edges or points..you are able to re-scale ends or roots as you wish.
Then again... you loose out on the lightwave challenge.

Another option is to make a straight piece, tapered, make skelegons in the middle, send it to layout conver to bones, selet all or defined bones and bend, even scale in there.

MichaelT
05-01-2017, 07:14 AM
Hmm, spline draw, and shape it to the side shape you want. After having selected the shape, and frozen it.. extend to the side. Then thicken it. After that you can work on the edges to make them smoother and so on.
You should not need any plugins for this.

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How much you polish is up to you.

prometheus
05-01-2017, 07:33 AM
Hmm, spline draw, and shape it to the side shape you want. After having selected the shape, and frozen it.. extend to the side. Then thicken it. After that you can work on the edges to make them smoother and so on.
You should not need any plugins for this.

136683136684136685136686136687136688

How much you polish is up to you.

So many options, though I donīt see why One shouldnīt use a free plugin like px bezier, in belt mode that provides an option to tweak the cuve while also being able to watch the mesh result, which is not an option when you use an extended spline, px bezier also allows for saving and reloading that cuve for reuse or retweak to another type of hook.
So even if you do not need any plugins by doing as you say..or by doing it by bending with spline guide...it certainly could help you in the aid by using it..especially since it is free and almost a must for other stuff as well, so why not use it if you have it on your desktop.

apart from changing the curve, you can set any segment..set sharp or smooth angles etc..as long as the tool is active you can see the mesh at all times.

MichaelT
05-01-2017, 07:37 AM
:) I'm not against people using plugins of course. But I do think that it is good to know how to do things like this without them.

prometheus
05-01-2017, 08:10 AM
:) I'm not against people using plugins of course. But I do think that it is good to know how to do things like this without them.

Agreed, Absolutly...me saying what I said is just an extension of what you can use to get more control, basics as you shown is good to know of course.
I do hope they can improve on curve and meshings with live feedback someday.

Blenders beziercurve has natively functions for extruding(3d mode fill/full) Bevel to give depth,extrude to set width of the mesh.. set resolution of the mesh, set resolution of segments and much much more..while being able to deform the curve with the mesh as well...I guess Jeric may prefer or just want to do it in Lightwave and not blender though.

And blender extruded curves are also animatable for extrusion over time.

MichaelT
05-01-2017, 08:28 AM
Yeah, when it comes to Blender I think LW should shamelessly copy every good thing in there. Including adding the Cycles engine as it is free anyway.

jeric_synergy
05-01-2017, 09:28 AM
Hmm, spline draw, and shape it to the side shape you want. After having selected the shape, and frozen it.. extend to the side. Then thicken it. After that you can work on the edges to make them smoother and so on.
You should not need any plugins for this.
136683136684136685136686136687136688
How much you polish is up to you.
That's pretty much what I want, except the ends are semicircular. Thanks for taking the time.

Is pic#3 "Thicken"? I don't remember it having that interface.

wingzeta
05-01-2017, 10:22 AM
That's pretty much what I want, except the ends are semicircular. Thanks for taking the time.

Is pic#3 "Thicken"? I don't remember it having that interface.

Px_bezier lets you do this interactively, as in, you can adjust your bezier handles while looking at the geometry, perfect your curves, segmentation etc. Then hit enter, and use the thicken tool.

Did I mention it is a FREE plugin! It is also great for making tubes, without having to rail extrude, and just making curves in general, because the handles are easier to work with than LW native spline tools.

You can get it here:
https://www.lightwave3d.com/assets/plugins/entry/px_bezier/
click on version, Win 32, 64, or Mac. Other link doesn't work
if on Win 64:
http://www.pictrix.jp/?p=6339

jeric_synergy
05-01-2017, 10:45 AM
Wingzeta, I have it, but A) I always disremember it , and B) I'm seriously out of practice w/LWM in general.

MichealT, followed your path, a snap, but now fighting with Booleans to get the semicircular ends. (Just trying to do it w/o PX.) Gotta say, IIRC, ef_CurveToPoly (?) is incredibly helpful for this sort of thing.

Thanks everybody for your help, and sincere apologies for such a newb question. And THICKEN does have that interface, I've just forgotten.

++++++++++++

Yeah, when it comes to Blender I think LW should shamelessly copy every good thing in there.
Isn't that true of ALL software? We should steal all good things (that are stealable, of course). Not everything is stealable-- the very low-level workflows for instance. But as you go up in complexity I think there's more interchangeability

Right now, for instance, "work planes" are looking like a really good concept to swipe. ;)

MichaelT
05-01-2017, 01:13 PM
Wingzeta, I have it, but A) I always disremember it , and B) I'm seriously out of practice w/LWM in general.
Isn't that true of ALL software? We should steal all good things (that are stealable, of course). Not everything is stealable-- the very low-level workflows for instance. But as you go up in complexity I think there's more interchangeability


True.. but in the case of Blender, it isn't just about trying to figure out how they did it.. they actually have source code to look at as well :)

"semicircular ends".. I take if you want something like this?

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To do this you can just create two discs, extend them, use boolean (substract), then use multishift (remember to set both inset & shift to contour. Press 'N' to open that menu while using the tool) After that you can split the ends, and pull the vertices out to form a curve. That should do it.
As a final touch you can use CC to give the whole thing a bit of a smoothing treatment.

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wingzeta
05-01-2017, 01:52 PM
Wingzeta, I have it, but A) I always disremember it , and B) I'm seriously out of practice w/LWM in general.

Hey no worries. I was just trying to point out that this tool was a really quick way to do what you were talking about, that didn't involve as many steps, or clean up. I know how it is to be away from an app for a while, and come back trying to remember all the ins and outs. Just like riding a bike, if a bike had a thousand different functions and controls, and shortcuts to remember.

jeric_synergy
05-01-2017, 02:31 PM
Just like riding a bike, if a bike had a thousand different functions and controls, and shortcuts to remember.

LOL!!! Good one! :D

:ohmy:



+++++++
MichealT: by "semicircular ends" I mean like if the ends of the strap, before bending, were half-circles. I just spent a while Booleaning my test mesh, and it was possible, if less than 'great fun' -(the usual Boolean issues). Having a work plane to easily align the cutter with non-axial faces would be nice-- I know there's work-arounds, but... they are work-arounds.