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Breh
04-07-2005, 03:12 PM
Being a late bloomer... I can’t imagine that I was the first to see this but after springing around from one possible solution to another I think that I may have finally discovered the easiest way to make and animate “3D real” springs in Lightwave3D.

My first tut?

Go into modeler and within point modus activate the numeric input window (w) and create a point on the x axis at -10 mm. Convert this point into a polygon by pressing the (p) key.

Then you want to go to the Helix tool and enter the following settings:

Number of rotations [20]
Clones Per Rotation [Uniform]
Helix [Radius 1 mm]
Helix Height [10 mm]
Taper [0]
Double Helix [not checked]
Oriented [not checked]

Press [Ok]

Save that object and load it into Layout.
Go to the surface panel and load your favorite surface.

Activate HyperVoxels and apply it to your spring object. Copy your surface settings from the surface you applied earlier on over to HyperVoxels.

Now the fun part! There are several ways you can animate this type of spring. Off the top of my head and most likely the easiest of which: Simply by resizing it in one of its axis’s, then theres morph targets, even better with bones, or if your a real crazed lightwaver... morph targets with bones.

Thats it!

Please, if anyone is feeling like expanding on this tut “go for it” and if you can find it in your heart "publish it for the entire community to learn from".

This tut is dedicated to and from (even though I am from Chicago) the LightWave3D European Community.

P.S. I don't know whats happeing at yahoo groups... I just deleted (I hope I was able to anyhow) [email protected] due to a pooper scooper load of spam that I was not able to get under control. (sorry Europe)

My most sincere and kindest regards to all,

-Herbicide-

[email protected]

Karmacop
04-07-2005, 09:07 PM
Using hypervoxels is an awsome idea!

Breh
04-08-2005, 02:57 AM
The basic idea on it self had something to do with a tip that the “Spline God” had given me in regards creating a “welded look” on some metal pieces I did on a project some time ago. (Larry, thanks once again).

Back to springy things… Modeling springs (depending on the type where there are “many” various shapes and sizes) are relatively simple to create where as you might want to abandon the polygon approach due to animation requirements and the deformation problems that arise when stretching springy things. [If you are interested in springs you might want to check out www.gutekunst-co.com and try to con yourself into them sending you a CD which has their spring calculation program on it]

I still have some animation questions that could use some replies… [Expressions] perhaps even better… “a plug-in”. it would be cool to have one that works for springs. So far the best I seen was done in Messiah by Marek Schneider [http://maks.free.fr/tech/spring/boing.htm]. Bones… It didn’t take me long to find that by placing a bone chain dead center in the middle of the spring that I could easily animate it with FK but then again who needs FK when you can use IK (any tips?)

Last but not least... Does anyone know of a way to effectively animate geometrically created springy objects without deforming the diameter of the spring cord?

P.S. I take it for granted that this short tut could also present a good work around for creating the ground work for animating telephone cords.

Peace,

-Herbicide-
[email protected]

BeeVee
04-08-2005, 04:11 AM
Yes, it's easy... :) You create a disc and copy it to the second layer, then use the lathe tool to create your stretched spring. Once you get the look you want, then you go to the second layer, create a second spring using all the same settings from your first, but a smaller offset size, and you copy that into an endomorph for the first layer. Since you are using the same settings for the lathe tool your poly and point count will remain the same, only their placement will differ. Then you animate with MorphMixer.

B

Breh
04-08-2005, 05:26 AM
Hello Ben,

=) Laughing... Closed mouth gathers no feet...
Personally, I'd like to see you do that without any errors.
Please take a shot at it and post your results.

What I have stumbled upon will work for my personal and immediate animation needs but if you take a closer look you’re probably going to find that there is much room for improvement regarding this “Herbtute”.

Example given: “Unwanted rounded end issues”

The majority of the springs I have seen have sharp edges at the ends of their coils; some even display a different coiling ratio on the ends (so called “flattened ends”).

My first suggestion would be to parent and “very” accurately place a null while considering using pretty much the same diameter characteristics as your HyperVoxel settings. Well that didn’t seem to work. Explanation: How do I create a HyperVoxel with a flat side?

My second guess would be to parent and “very” accurately place either an object while considering using the HyperVoxel “texture settings” to texture your object. Results: Not good… Perhaps I overlooked something but it seems as if that HyperVoxels and object surfaces use 2 different shading algorithms.

Another ouch, get to close with that camera of yours and you might find yourself experiencing some nasty render times along with some pretty ugly smoothness, you may even experience a small but somewhat tolerate-able render error due to the surfaced polys along side of the HyperVoxel texture. ???Solutions???

While near the topic… Anyone know how I can I influence the bleeding effect of the HyperVoxels so that I can fake the smoothness of my surface?

-Herbicide-
[email protected]

Dodgy
04-08-2005, 06:54 AM
=) Laughing... Closed mouth gathers no feet...
Personally, I'd like to see you do that without any errors.
Please take a shot at it and post your results.

Why are you laughing? Works for me :)

Another method for the stretching I would use is using two bones, one at either end with a falloff along the spring, this would allow for quite flexible and easy animation, but there are other methods you could use two with clothFX.

Breh
04-08-2005, 07:00 AM
R U saying that there is "no" change in the diameter in the spring coil.

BeeVee
04-08-2005, 07:16 AM
None whatsoever in my example...

B

ursa
04-08-2005, 08:41 AM
By the way Breh,
just how does that foot taste?

Breh
04-08-2005, 11:50 AM
"yummy yummy"

(= Yes, I am still laughing =)

Is this going to turn into a intelligence test... if so, let it be known that I don't mind loosing.

>> Please note in a very kind manner that I am not saying I discovered something special rather that I am attempting to share a solution to a rather very complicated mathematical function of which not too many people here know how to solve.

>> The cord of the spring should "not" be deformed in any shape or manner rather the spring should be able to be stretched, retracted, and bent (really bounced) once again without changing the form of the spring cord.

>> Way in the beginning I seem to recall mentioning the "easiest way" to make a "real" spring but then again that's beside the point.

>> if in fact you feel that you can manipulate your geometrically created spring without deforming the diameter of the cord then I for one sure would like to see it let alone know how you did it.

>> Seeing that I have caught the attention of some who feel that they know what they are talking about... how about answering some of those other questions?


=)

hunter
04-08-2005, 03:56 PM
The idea is intriguing. Here is one BeeVee's way. took about 5 minutes to make this gif. Although I'm not sure about the "bounced" portion of the test. Maybe you could post an example?

toby
04-08-2005, 09:32 PM
Is this going to turn into a intelligence test... if so, let it be known that I don't mind loosing.

=)

'losing'

sorry I couldn't resist
don't hate the player :p

Silkrooster
04-08-2005, 09:47 PM
Breh,
I hope you don't take them to heart. Its good to see other ways to accomplish the same thing. Actually I love reading threads like this one. One way or another you end up learning something from it. Tip you said your way was the easiest, that is what opened the door. It would have been better to say here is another way to create a spring. Then odds are you would not have received as much competition. Its funny how simple words can make others react. Keep on tipping. ;)
Silk

SplineGod
04-09-2005, 01:07 AM
Thanks Breh! Glad that tip was useful :)
Even with polys its still very easy to create a spring that is animated by bones that keeps its diameter. Heres an example that literally took under 5 minutes to create.
I animated it with bones and IKBoost using its FK aspect to do the springy motion and using its IK aspect to get the spring to stretch way out.
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/examples/spring.mov

Breh
04-09-2005, 02:35 AM
Larry, I’m “very” impressed. Your solution seems to be the one I’m looking for.

Questions: Your set up; I used skelegons to create my chain along the path of my helix. Though it created a great chain of bones... Regarding the obvious deformation issues... This didn’t seem to work for me.

I then tried going up the center of the coil and animating from there. That too didn’t seem to work.

“how the in the world did you get yours to work?”

Your course... Very tempting I must say... Due to my geographic location (a German 4 house city) I am limited to a ISDN connection. Is it in your mind (within reason) to get in on that course of yours with that kind of bandwidth?

Last but not least… why on earth did you shave your head? =)

-Herb

SplineGod
04-09-2005, 03:15 AM
Breh,
The courses I have are delivered on CDs. I handle the student support over the internet on my support forums. Bandwidth isnt an issue :)

To get the spring to work do what you were already doing with the bone chain in your helix. Select ALL the bones at once and rotate the bank. That will get the spring to compress and stretch. I also used IKBoost to use Ik to push and pull the spring around. :)

Breh
04-10-2005, 03:50 AM
I am discovering that finding a rock solid solution for working with springs is not as easy as I originally had anticipated.

E.g. What CAD designers create with their tools has little to do with making pretty pictures. But when it comes to rendering examples of their creations I feel that it is safe to say that the rendering technologies implicated in today’s CAD programs leaves much to be desired. For me personally this is where Lightwave3D comes into the picture. This in turn is the reasoning behind why I am investigating cost effective solutions for “accurately” being able to animate/ manipulate everything under the sun from a valve spring of a car to the spring in a jack-in-a-box.

True, the suggestions made so far have been rather good but then on the other hand (in my opinion) are aimed at addressing a particular portion of today’s ever so demanding market… “the pretty picture portion”

As far as I am aware of, the only “CGI” plug-in on the market that can handle these kinds of calculations is for Animation Master where as it seems more and more like that Messiah is the next best thing.

My next endeavor… investigating accurate methods for animating viscoelastic fluids such as the one addressed at http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/b-cam/Papers/Goktekin-2004-AMF/

“Bash me if you feel that you have nothing better to do”

-Herb

Breh
04-12-2005, 05:16 AM
I just received the latest “Spring” 2005 Catalog CD from Gutekunst.

Some of the highlights:

- Over 10,000 different types of springs
- A program generates many 2D and 3D formats
- A spring calculation program (if I only knew how to implicate these values in LW)
- Available in German, English and French
- It only cost me an email

"Greetings to all"

-Herb

art
04-12-2005, 07:24 AM
do you think they will send it to U.S to an individual and not a company?

Breh
04-12-2005, 01:20 PM
I can’t speak for the others here.

Personally speaking, in the past I have experienced great success in establishing great contacts while generating work through simply more or less (please pardon the expression) threatening so called “targeted clients” with nothing more than what they want most… “success”. Naturally, you also have to be able to deliver it.

Trust me when I say that I feel that it is safe to assume that the same scenario pretty much also applies here. Then again, I wouldn't recommend requesting it unless you have a true need for it.

On the other hand... what do you have to loose? Besides that, seeing that you love your hobby... Beware! You may eventually find that it becomes your profession and in-turn find that you have a need for springy things.

"Are there any programmers out there interested into looking into the animation particulars governing this spring issue as a whole?"


Kindest regards,

Herb

art
04-12-2005, 02:00 PM
Actually I've been looking at the "spring issue" even before I've read your thread and that's why it caught my attention. I have plans for a simple spring animation plugin w/ no distortion which may or may not grow into something bigger at some (probably distant :) ) time in the future. At this time I am still doing my research.

Breh
04-13-2005, 12:13 AM
That being the case then I feel you would get some great use out of that CD. The program on the CD provides you with input fields for the necessary parameter and once provided it calculates the physical characteristics of the spring. If you find that you are in need a beta tester… Please allow me to be the first to volunteer.

I don’t know if it will be of any help but by chance are you a Messiah user? If so you may want to take a peek at what Marek Schneider has thrown together. [http://maks.free.fr/tech/spring/boing.htm]. It’s not exactly the kind of solution I am referring to but one hell of a great “work-a-round” for the time being.

“Please keep me posted”

P.S. If they don’t send you a CD I would be willingly to gratefully send you mine.

Kindest regards,

-Herb

Celshader
04-13-2005, 01:44 AM
I don’t know if it will be of any help but by chance are you a Messiah user? If so you may want to take a peek at what Marek Schneider has thrown together. [http://maks.free.fr/tech/spring/boing.htm]. It’s not exactly the kind of solution I am referring to but one hell of a great “work-a-round” for the time being.

His spring animation looks really neat! I'm inspired to attempt to recreate it in LightWave when I get the chance. I think I could do it with MetaLink, the Layout "Bend" tool, and a morph target to compress/uncompress the spring.

Thank you for posting this link!

SplineGod
04-13-2005, 02:46 AM
Heres something similar done in LW.
This took less then 10 minutes to setup and animate.
Again its the same setup as before with bones but
driven with oscillator, one expression and tweaked with IKBoost.
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/examples/spring2.mov
and heres an example using a morphed spring with the morph channel driven by oscillator and the bending done with a chain of bones.
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/examples/spring3.mov

art
04-13-2005, 08:01 AM
Breh,

It looks like the spring calculation program is downloadable from their web, although I am not sure if that is the one also included on CD. I'll keep you (and others) posted if I come up with something.

Larry,

Your animations look very nice (and convincing)

Breh
04-14-2005, 02:52 AM
Larry,

I find that your animations are fantastic!

So good that “I get this feeling that I ought to start looking into rejuvenating some of those dead brain cells of mine” =)

-Herb

SplineGod
04-14-2005, 11:57 AM
Thanks!
The nice thing is that making, controlling and animating the springs are pretty easy. :)

art
06-29-2005, 07:21 AM
This are my results so far (mov), just a proof of concept. It uses my custom lscript which is still missing 90% of intended features.
Too early to get too excited...

art
07-01-2005, 07:33 AM
another example. The spring is animated with 2 nulls.

art
11-08-2005, 03:03 PM
something is brewing...

rvarela
01-29-2006, 09:54 PM
Hi Art, I was searching the forum for "spings" and found this thread, now I'm wondering if your lscript is ready?

art
01-30-2006, 09:29 AM
Modeler part is ready, layout part is 90% ready, but I hit a brick wall related to gimbal lock. Its almost usable but not quite.
It is a simple lscript which reconstructs the spring (no streching) between two points/nulls in layout. It does not do any bending, complex vibrations etc. The spring can be animated by animating two points to which the spring is attached.

sonofmickel
02-03-2006, 10:14 PM
I can't even use the helix tool on a single point poly! Nice! As soon as a select the helix toll=crash.

UPDATE. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE POLY IN ANY LAYER BUT THE FIRST LAYER. SHISSE! The cat activated the caps lock key..anyway, back to my story.
Even though I can make Helix"work" I have no control over it. The numeric panel does not show up in the numeric panel area. Hmmm...Tiger.

SplineGod
02-03-2006, 11:12 PM
Its pretty simple to create a helix using a spline to rail extrude a single point poly. :)

sonofmickel
02-04-2006, 11:35 AM
Here is the problem I am having:

"Then you want to go to the Helix tool and enter the following settings:

Number of rotations [20]
Clones Per Rotation [Uniform]
Helix [Radius 1 mm]
Helix Height [10 mm]
Taper [0]
Double Helix [not checked]
Oriented [not checked]

Press [Ok]"

Where do I find the control panel for Helix? I allready have the numeric panel open, I just used the numeric panel to place my single point poly at coordinate 0,-10mm,0. Is this another OSX thing?