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sparks401
05-11-2004, 11:00 AM
Can anyone help me figure out how to build a two-stranded electrical cord as shown in the attached photo? I can build two straight links of "wire" and twist one around the other, but that doesn't help me with a curved wire.

Thanks in advance,
Parks

Revanto
05-11-2004, 12:02 PM
Maybe this tutorial can help you

http://www.hades-studios.com/twist-tute

Or this one

http://www.hades-studios.com/braidstutorial

Then use MD's morphing skelegons tutorial (on lightwave tutorials one the web).

Hope it helps

Revanto

sparks401
05-11-2004, 12:16 PM
Revanto,

Thanks, but neither link seems to work for me. Do you have any others that I could try?

Thanks,
Parks

Revanto
05-11-2004, 02:53 PM
Oh Crap! Nearly all my tutes were on there.

OK, hopefully I can attach a zip of one of the tutes here.

The other one is bigger so I have to find a host.

Just do with what you can with this, OK?

Good Luck

Revanto

Revanto
05-11-2004, 02:57 PM
Oh, I just read your post properly....

This is the link you want.

http://www.md-arts.com/MorphSkelegons_Modeler.htm

Enjoy my twist tute anyway. You might learn something good.

Cheers
Revanto

wacom
05-11-2004, 11:10 PM
Just use this to generate a spline you can use as guide for a rail extrude. Copy that and rotate it etc.


Here is the file...takes a while to get used to...but it works...I think there may be a better version out though...

sparks401
05-12-2004, 12:00 AM
I must not know what I'm doing. I created a twisted segment using Revanto's method, but could not rail extrude it properly. For the HelixRT.ls file, my system doesn't recognise the format. Very frustrating.

Parks

UnCommonGrafx
05-12-2004, 05:55 AM
It's an lscript.

You have to run it. Try it from the lscript tab. Or, install it (alt-11) then find and run it.

sparks401
05-12-2004, 10:19 AM
I'm in way over my head on this. I don't understand what Lscripts do for you. I did try to open the HelixRT.ls file with the Lscript tab, but saw no result.

Do Lscripts apply to animation? The reason why I ask is because I am only trying to render static scenes (single frame) for use as illustration in a book. Or are Lscripts something that I need to learn how to use, even for static scenes?

One thing I've learned from this conversation already...how do lower the polygon count in the multitude of "wires" that are in my scene.

Parks

Revanto
05-12-2004, 03:30 PM
It's best if you use MD's morphing skelegons tutorial because, even though it's for a morphing object, you can still do it to set up the bending of the wires. Although you can use a morph to stretch the wires if they are not long enough.

As for polygon count, you can get away with a three sided tube if you use a nurbed object and they don't need a close up. The three sided tube (used to make the wires) will not give you a perfect tube when you hit tab but it will add to the realism.

In the end, depending on your scene, polygon count can be as complex as the wires need to be.

Good luck.

Revanto

sparks401
05-12-2004, 09:15 PM
If you haven't lost patience with me yet, here's where I'm at.

I've gotten to the point where I can make a segment of what I want (see upper half of pic below).

However, I would like to repeat this segment along a curved path. You've seen my reference photo at the beginning of this thread, attached in the lower half of the pic below is my model of it, with a solid "wire" standing in along the path I need an intertwined wire to take.

Somehow, I have to extend my segment along that path. I have never used skelegons before and based on your suggestions here, I'm reading up on how they are supposed to work. If there's something else for me to try, please let me know.

Thanks,
Parks

wacom
05-12-2004, 10:57 PM
Use helix RT! Once you get use to it you should be able to get what you need after a few tries. Here was my first attempt. The first layers have the Helix RT spline and the three sided poly that I rail extruded and then sub-patched. Not perfect, but not bad for less than 1min work.

Once you make the cord there are several ways to bend it...

sparks401
05-13-2004, 09:34 AM
OK, I can create a helix like the one you sent, but I'm not aware of all the ways that it can be bent.

The wires that I need to build are quite lengthy and follow complicated paths in 3 dimensions. The ones I have in the model now are rail-extruded discs. Most of my work went into defining the path for the wire and those are now set. The easiest solution would be some way to have a twist or helix segment repeated in Modeler along the paths that I have already built.

However, I haven't had any success with that (I'm still trying, though). If I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that I should build a segment that is as long as I want my cord to be, and then bend it along the path I have built.

How do I do that? I can bend an object uniformly along its length, but I don't know how to bend something in different directions, at different points, along its length. I am reading up on skelegons right now...is that the best way to do it? I'd like to perform everything in Modeler, because I use Layout only to render my finished scene (there's no animation involved and I only need to render a single frame).

Thanks for trying to help me through this. I have had to self-teach myself the most essential functions of Lightwave in order to render my book illustrations, but haven't had experience with more advanced functions. So far, my incomplete knowledge has gotten me through about 90 percent of the work that I need to do, but it's that final 10 percent that'll kill me.

Thanks,
Parks

murdoch
05-13-2004, 10:01 AM
Skelegons > bones would be a good way to do it, maybe a little time consuming depending on how long your cord is but you'll be able to bend any which way, but you will have to do it in layout - no big shakes. There was an excellent tip from Dan Ablan in the 'Building Roads' thread that should apply here, you can find it with a search (can't remember how to do links).

Just have your straight lenght of twisted cord in modeller > draw your skelegons > make sure the head and tail points are merged > send to layout > skelegons to bones and then rotate away. Make sure you set the SubD order of the cord to 'after bones'. You'll just have to make an educated guess as to how many bones you'll need. If you have your path already worked out I'm sure there's a way to take that to layout and use as a guide.

Good Luck

sparks401
05-16-2004, 04:49 PM
I finally figured out how to do my cord, and thanks to everyone who responded, because I took a bit from everyone's suggestions in order to figure it out.

The biggest obstacle I faced was that I had to do the cord in Modeler, not Layout. I needed to match an archival photograph exactly, which meant revising my cord's path in Modeler against the reference photo.

Basically, I took the helical curve form, extended it, copied and offset it (2 layers) and then overlaid that over my reference path as background. Selecting points, I then worked my way down the line, rotating points to match my helical curve form to the path. My rotating the points, I didn't mash my two helical curve forms together, which would have caused one wire strand to deform against another. Once I had the curve form set where I wanted it, I then rail-extended a disc along each of the two paths, and viola! A nice, two-stranded electrical wire, all built within Modeler.

Also, thanks to this thread, I learned how to economise on my polygons. Thanks to everyone for their help!

Parks

cagey5
05-16-2004, 05:06 PM
That cord is looking really good. As a consequence and a minor crit you might have to work up the textures on the rest of the piece to bring it up to the same standard :) Nice work.

wacom
05-16-2004, 06:24 PM
Looking good! Hey- you did a great job of merging a few of our ideas and coming up with something better! It makes a lot of sense to deform the path BEFORE you do a rail extrude on it. Nice tip.

sparks401
05-16-2004, 07:53 PM
Cagey5,

Yes, I'm working on new versions of the "boxes" now. The ones you see in the picture are based on an early version of the object that I built a couple of years ago, and I can do a better job nowadays. Every new object I build is an adventure, and I'm continually learning new methods as I attempt various things. That's the trouble when you work on a model for more than a year...the older stuff starts to look pretty dated, and then have to be re-built so that they match the newer objects in quality and detail.

Parks