PDA

View Full Version : Syflex- your thoughts?



hrgiger
02-12-2007, 01:00 PM
I'm getting back to doing character work and I think I'm going to be buying Syflex this week. I haven't seen much talk about Syflex since it became available to LW users (and I'm sure the $2200 price tag is the reason). I'm getting it now because I have the chance to buy it at the student rate of $220. I would love to hear anyones experience with it before I order it probably later this week.

Cloth dynamics in LW were one(of many) of the reasons I balked at doing character work for a while and I'm excited that Syflex is now available, especially at this price.

RedBull
02-12-2007, 01:14 PM
I'm getting back to doing character work and I think I'm going to be buying Syflex this week. I haven't seen much talk about Syflex since it became available to LW users (and I'm sure the $2200 price tag is the reason). I'm getting it now because I have the chance to buy it at the student rate of $220. I would love to hear anyones experience with it before I order it probably later this week.

Cloth dynamics in LW were one(of many) of the reasons I balked at doing character work for a while and I'm excited that Syflex is now available, especially at this price.

As i hassled and championed Syflex for this LW release....

For $220 academic price i wouldn't hesitate at all...... It's amazing not to have to calculate dynamics, and just press play and change the resolution and it's all realtime.

LW's OGL speed has increased, unfortunately LW's deformations speed is still horrible, compared to the Maya and XSI versions of syflex it's much slower in this area. You will need to change you box threshold or lower calc res on high density objects, once it's calculated and cached it's usually okay...
Just not as responsive as XSI or Maya though.

Gettting some initial movement is fast and accurate, if you tried to drap a cloth over a donut, LW takes 10mins and Syflex maybe 2mins to setup, the difference is Syflex just works. But it can offer it's own tedioum as well.
If i get a chance i'll whip up some animations, but likely not for a day or two.

If you've ever used Syflex in any other package, you can't not grin from ear to ear when it does so easy what the others take so much calc time to complete.

At $2200 it's not for everyone, i do more FX than CA so i tend to use dynamics a lot. 2 jobs and it pays for itself......... For hobbyists, LW's dynamics will likely get you through the day without the expense or need to use Syflex.

I wouldn't say i can do much more with it, just easier and faster to achieve the same clothFX than LW's clothFX.

GregMalick
02-12-2007, 01:52 PM
I'm getting back to doing character work and I think I'm going to be buying Syflex this week. I haven't seen much talk about Syflex since it became available to LW users (and I'm sure the $2200 price tag is the reason). I'm getting it now because I have the chance to buy it at the student rate of $220. I would love to hear anyones experience with it before I order it probably later this week.

Cloth dynamics in LW were one(of many) of the reasons I balked at doing character work for a while and I'm excited that Syflex is now available, especially at this price.

What are the limitations of the academic version. Does it have some kinda calculation pauses or anything?

hrgiger
02-12-2007, 01:53 PM
Thanks Redbull. So for $220, you're saying it's a nobrainer?

Lightwave is merely my hobby but character animation is about all I ever got into 3D for. I've put it down for some time because of Lightwaves fairly poor character tools, the cloth dynamics just being one of those limitations. I'm hoping that some of the improvements they'll make during the 9.x cycle is to imrpove upon deformation speeds so perhaps that will become less of an issue. I mean, they are supposed to improve the character tools after all...

I would love to see anything you could whip up in Syflex/LW.

hrgiger
02-12-2007, 01:54 PM
What are the limitations of the academic version. Does it have some kinda calculation pauses or anything?

On the website it says the academic version is no different then the professional license.

From the website:

"Syflex Cloth Simulator - Student License.


The student license allows a student or a faculty member to use Syflex for non-commercial purposes only.
This is the same version as the one used by professional studios all around the world."

erikals
02-12-2007, 01:57 PM
...I wouldn't say i can do much more with it, just easier and faster to achieve the same clothFX than LW's clothFX.

Seriously? I mean, LW dynamics are horrible imo. They seldom calculate what I want.

hrgiger
02-12-2007, 02:01 PM
For me personally, I have found LW's dynamics(cloth) just fine and dandy for things that hang or blow in the wind but for cloth that requires extensive collision detection(such as cloth worn against the body), it is awful. I have also found it to be twitchy. I think Pooby once said it best that it looks like some small creature is having a siezure under the cloth.

I certainly hope that I can much more with Syflex.

Carm3D
02-12-2007, 02:02 PM
Would SyFlex be good for character skining? Modeling muscle collision objects and wrapping skin around them like a glove?

hrgiger
02-12-2007, 02:03 PM
Carm, there is a tutorial on the website where they do just that. I don't know how painful to setup it might be though...

Here's the link: http://www.syflex.biz/tut_skin01.html

Carm3D
02-12-2007, 02:07 PM
And the LW SyFlex does this?

erikals
02-12-2007, 02:29 PM
I guess, haven't read that it should have any special limits.
I think that simulation looks a bit "baloonish", but hopefully that is just due a calculation resolution.

Also see here,
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54246&highlight=syflex
http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showpost.php?p=152341&postcount=40

erikals
02-12-2007, 02:32 PM
...I think Pooby once said it best that it looks like some small creature is having a siezure under the cloth....


I belive "epileptic mice under cloth" was what he said.. : )

Carm3D
02-12-2007, 02:38 PM
Interesting stuff.. I'd wager that LW could do it... But only if it was done one limb at a time, using a system of isolating fix weightmaps. Course it would take much longer with ClothFX.

Bog
02-12-2007, 03:21 PM
For $220? No-brainer. Absolute no-brainer.

erikals
02-12-2007, 03:22 PM
Wonder why there isn't a trial version of Syflex for Lightwave,.. I'm sending a request. Let's see.

Stooch
02-12-2007, 03:22 PM
yeah its a good deal. i bet you its alot cheaper now that maya ncloth is out. (incredibly fast cloth) better then syflex imo.

erikals
02-12-2007, 04:07 PM
Ncloth looks cool, but it is even worse, you need Maya Unlimited, which is like $7000. (outch!)

hrgiger
02-12-2007, 04:10 PM
Wonder why there isn't a trial version of Syflex for Lightwave,.. I'm sending a request. Let's see.

Good luck. I sent them a question months ago about Syflex and never heard back. Hope that's not a reflection on their customer support and was just a fluke.

RedBull
02-12-2007, 07:55 PM
Good luck. I sent them a question months ago about Syflex and never heard back. Hope that's not a reflection on their customer support and was just a fluke.

Generally support has been within 24hours to all my querires.

When i went to order it, the LW version was not available online, I told them that it's not mentioned, and i can't order the LW version..
10mins later i received a LW version was online and could be ordered on the web page.


Seriously? I mean, LW dynamics are horrible imo. They seldom calculate what I want.

Yes LW dynamics are horrible, but they are crude and they work....
Syflex doesn't offer a lot of opportunity to achieve new types of dynamics,
or do a lot that ClothFX cannot technically do, it's basically the same kind of thing just easier and faster.

All Dynamics engines for example include, gravity, wind, spring, etc....
All the properties like stiffness and dampness, i mean all dynamics are very similar to me, i can use pick up the same thing in most programs easily.
It's only the calcs and speed that they are setup, and Syflex works well for that.

I quite often use Houdini's RBD system, and it rocks.... :)

hrgiger
02-12-2007, 08:39 PM
Yes LW dynamics are horrible, but they are crude and they work....
Syflex doesn't offer a lot of opportunity to achieve new types of dynamics,
or do a lot that ClothFX cannot technically do, it's basically the same kind of thing just easier and faster.

All Dynamics engines for example include, gravity, wind, spring, etc....
All the properties like stiffness and dampness, i mean all dynamics are very similar to me, i can use pick up the same thing in most programs easily.
It's only the calcs and speed that they are setup, and Syflex works well for that.



Please tell me though that the collisions are handled much better in Syflex. To me, that's the worst part about LW's dynamics.

RedBull
02-12-2007, 11:49 PM
I actually liked MD compared to ClothFX, and Syflex is much better than both in terms of collisions Syflex is more accurate is sickeningly easy to get right.

It has an internal and external envelope value (not LW envelopes) that make adjustments a breeze, (and also damp and bounce can help there too)
and because of the amazing calculation speed, i.e none at all, you can fix and adjust on the fly..... There is also self collisions which are equally good.

You do need polygonal objects, nurbs and subd's are not supported (although they work and don't crash Syflex, they don't deform correctly)

I think polygonal hair for FFIV and similar would also be possible and actually quite easily animated.

But if your planning on doing more CA, i really think you can't go wrong for $220... It's well worth much more. (How much more is debatable)

tonybliss
02-13-2007, 01:07 AM
I am using Messiah for CA, I dont' need Syflex for the cloth, but it will give me the edge on output, cant they play nice together; will I have to bake out the animation for the naked character and apply the cloth in LW?
And getting you corectly, you can only calculate in polygon mode if I want correct deformations. So I replace with a sub div character after calculation
Thanks :)

erikals
02-13-2007, 02:36 AM
...You do need polygonal objects, nurbs and subd's are not supported (although they work and don't crash Syflex, they don't deform correctly)

Hm! That's kind of sad. Take this tutorial for example, http://www.syflex.biz/tut_skin01.html
If used for muscle simulation, how would I pump up the resolution of the mesh so it doesn't look so baloonish? (more visible muscle-creases) I guess I would have to increase the density of the mesh, but then there would be the question if the skin would deform properly, as a high-density mesh has a higher risk of getting "popping polygons" (but maybe Syflex is good enough to help that from happening?)

(Cool idea Cgswami, wouldn't help in the situation above, but it'd be cool if replacing the poly obj with a Sub-D obj would work, would e.g. be good for using displacement maps on the model)

What about the model under the cloth (collision object) could that be Sub-D?

So many questions :)


I'm sure you already know that, but just in case: as a student you can get the student license for $220. We offer companies the possibility to rent a license on a monthly base, but we have never offered this to students, so I don't even know if it is possible. In general we offer this only to companies who already own a license.

So I didn't really get the answer I was hoping for.> "We are making a trial"
But I was thinking, it says "student", so would that mean any kind of student.. hmm.

tonybliss
02-13-2007, 03:06 AM
I wrote them last night, got a reply 3.30am this morning. To upgrade to com lic from student it would cost only $1100. Still a massive saving of $880 than getting it initially at the commercial price :)

I need to understand carefully how the sub'd/polygon thing works with syflex ... as erikalis asked I do hope that the model at least would be able to be sub d
redbull how are the docs on requirements ???

Sensei
02-13-2007, 03:47 AM
It's amazing not to have to calculate dynamics, and just press play and change the resolution and it's all realtime.

Even LightWave does not know where geometry will be next frame..
And 3rd party plug-in to check this must store mesh in database, move frame, refresh all, and store mesh again and compare point by point in 2 (or 3+) databases.. That's the only way to calculate item motion modifiers and point displacements..

In true real-time dynamics, will run only the simplest scenes.. No motion modifier, probably no channel modifier/expressions, no displacements, no bones movement, no particles and items relying on them (fx linker etc)..

pooby
02-13-2007, 07:37 AM
You do need polygonal objects, nurbs and subd's are not supported (although they work and don't crash Syflex, they don't deform correctly)



Is this in Lightwave? I can't believe that it wouldn't work with Subd's as Layout just freezes 'subd's' anyway, so it actually IS a polygon model.

I haven't used Syflex in LW, but I am told its the same as the other versions.
In XSI, (which people say isn't as well integrated as the Maya version) It is excellent.
It just does exactly what you expect it to do pretty much on the default settings.
You spend your time tweaking to get the feel of the cloth correct, rather than spending your time in a vain search trying in desperate hope to find the possible existence of a narrow band of parameter combinations that might not produce utterly useless results.
If I didn't have XSI I'd definately get it for LW.

If anyone's interested and If I get time, I could a syflex simulation in XSI, mdd it and then post the LW files so you can see what it can do. after all, it's the same underlying engine.

tonybliss
02-13-2007, 07:54 AM
I am interested... greatly appreciated. Pooby since I know you have experience in Messiah, what would be the [B]best [B] workflow for using Syflex, LW and Messiah.
I have an idea but it would greatly help my r and d time getting solid advice :)
thanks and cheers!!

pooby
02-13-2007, 08:06 AM
Well, I haven't used Messiah for years so I'm not sure If I'm the best person to ask.
Messiah brings baked point-level animation back into LW, so you'll have to check whether Syflex in LW can read this if you wanted to have a messiah-animated character wearing LW/Syflex cloth.
Its all to do with the order of the solving. LW has to first read the messiah deformation file then Syflex has to be able to 'see' where those points are in order to use the objects as collisions.
It may well work, but I can't guarantee it. I would write to Syflex and see if they can help you out..

tonybliss
02-13-2007, 08:09 AM
Would do ... thanks

Stooch
02-13-2007, 01:48 PM
Hm! That's kind of sad. Take this tutorial for example, http://www.syflex.biz/tut_skin01.html
If used for muscle simulation, how would I pump up the resolution of the mesh so it doesn't look so baloonish? (more visible muscle-creases) I guess I would have to increase the density of the mesh, but then there would be the question if the skin would deform properly, as a high-density mesh has a higher risk of getting "popping polygons" (but maybe Syflex is good enough to help that from happening?)

(Cool idea Cgswami, wouldn't help in the situation above, but it'd be cool if replacing the poly obj with a Sub-D obj would work, would e.g. be good for using displacement maps on the model)

What about the model under the cloth (collision object) could that be Sub-D?

So many questions :)



So I didn't really get the answer I was hoping for.> "We are making a trial"
But I was thinking, it says "student", so would that mean any kind of student.. hmm.

well im Maya i use low res mesh and use a conform mesh constraint that will drive the high res witht he lower res simulation. it works amazing but i dont think LW has anything like that... (very useful feature btw)

RedBull
02-13-2007, 01:55 PM
In true real-time dynamics, will run only the simplest scenes.. No motion modifier, probably no channel modifier/expressions, no displacements, no bones movement, no particles and items relying on them (fx linker etc)..

Regardles, with the right settings, Syflex makes the LW dynamics calculations so old and slow, it's not funny... The fact that Syflex uses a stable/fast solver is impressive.


Is this in Lightwave?

Yes, i believe NURBS are not supported in any of the Syflex versions, but i may be wrong. Correct me if i'm wrong, MD doesn't allow SubD's either, and it's a LW tool.


What about the model under the cloth (collision object) could that be Sub-D?

Yes i believe that is okay, i think there are a few ways to calculate with poly's and still render as subD's, and colission objects would work as SubD's..

Red_Oddity
02-13-2007, 04:26 PM
well im Maya i use low res mesh and use a conform mesh constraint that will drive the high res witht he lower res simulation. it works amazing but i dont think LW has anything like that... (very useful feature btw)

Wasn't that about the same as using MD_Plug with a previously baked MDD file in LW?(sure it's a workaround that prevents realtime tweaking, but it's a workaround none the less)

pooby
02-13-2007, 04:58 PM
MD doesn't allow SubD's either, and it's a LW tool.


Sub d's are just subdivided polys. It's still a poly model.
MD can use subd's

RedBull
02-13-2007, 08:01 PM
Sub d's are just subdivided polys. It's still a poly model.
MD can use subd's

Yeah, just not CC SubD's was what i was thinking.

erikals
02-14-2007, 04:16 AM
I read about pinning options for making muscles stick more/ prevent them for sliding, would you know if the lightwave version also has "pinning"?

RedBull
02-14-2007, 04:23 AM
Yes Pinning is supported and welcomed.

erikals
02-14-2007, 05:30 AM
Cool :)

tonybliss
02-17-2007, 02:38 PM
I just got Syflex ... and it ROCKS !!!

when you guys said almost realtime I thought you meant I had to ress a calc button and it would update from there ...
To clarify realtime means as you set options it calculates, and saves a cache file for every change that is made soconsecutive playbacks are even faster ..
wow!!
will keep you posted with screen grabs
will also test with messiah

erikals
02-17-2007, 05:26 PM
Man... wish it was me [soob] :)
..the more examples the better. If you could show a pinning option that'd be mega-super-cool.

That's cool though, the more lightwavers that get it the more one share... if only I had it.. one day..

tonybliss
02-17-2007, 06:09 PM
will do ... I LOVE to share ...
look out for some :)

Carm3D
02-17-2007, 06:18 PM
(sigh) I wish it wasn't two grand. :(

tonybliss
02-17-2007, 06:31 PM
it is sickening that people can write plugins like this
sickening in a good way :)
... i think if you do ca and you have the jobs it wil pay for itself

hrgiger
02-17-2007, 07:04 PM
(sigh) I wish it wasn't two grand. :(

Go back to school. It's $220 for students. I know I'm buying it at that price.

Cageman
02-18-2007, 12:26 AM
well im Maya i use low res mesh and use a conform mesh constraint that will drive the high res witht he lower res simulation. it works amazing but i dont think LW has anything like that... (very useful feature btw)

Isn't FX_Metalink / HardLink supposed to do that? (take low poly mesh used for sim and drive high poly mesh)? Or, it may just work with 2-poly chains for things like Cloth... hmm...

Ohh well... we have Syflex for Maya at work, havn't had any time playing with it though... :/

erikals
02-23-2007, 04:39 PM
will do ... I LOVE to share ...
look out for some :)

Hey cgswami, What's ap! :)
Dying to see the test :)

(btw, this is great for free video capture, HyperCam (http://www.hyperionics.com/hc/index.asp))

tonybliss
02-23-2007, 05:18 PM
I am modifying and UVing a character et al at the moment ... but will do a test very soon for an overdue character which i can share the workflow for the setup ... funny you should post this now .. I was now about to write Gerard about some features that I should be there like wrinkle and the preset bin :)
I will follow up on this ... promise :)

LOL on the hypercam :) Great thanks :)

erikals
02-23-2007, 05:38 PM
Cool stuff :), be sure to use PLG on that UV mapping ;)
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53778

tonybliss
02-23-2007, 06:04 PM
Definitely .. I am now telling my wife that this plugin is one of the greatest plugins that came up for LW. Even more than xtreem and syflex....
It def gives me the opportunity to focus on PS artistry and less on fighting up with LW's uv system ...
Thanks !!! :)

joschy
03-01-2007, 03:20 AM
Hello,
we just bought syflex, itīs really cool :) . Only one thing, I canīt get it to render with screamernet??? Is this known???

Thanks, joschy

dpont
03-01-2007, 03:52 AM
Don't know if it is has its own bake format,
but If it does displacement, you should also
bake it with MD_Scan.

Denis.

joschy
03-01-2007, 04:01 AM
I will try this, thanks.

joschy
03-01-2007, 04:31 AM
no success... syflex deformation info is not scan able with md_scan :(

erikals
03-01-2007, 05:07 AM
no success... syflex deformation info is not scan able with md_scan :(

Outch, that sounds kind of like a drawback http://erikalstad.com/smiley/Notsatisfied.gif There might be plugins that freeze the mesh for every frame preserving the UV,.. if there is, then it might work.. (?)

erikals
03-01-2007, 05:10 AM
Found one "Save Transformed Sequenze" plugin here,
http://www.interialabs.de/lw/lscript/
...could be something, saves in LWO2 format.

Sensei
03-01-2007, 05:10 AM
no success... syflex deformation info is not scan able with md_scan :(

How is that possible??
Syflex displacement is above MD_Scan in the list?
During play-back did you disable Syflex completely and used MD_Plug?

joschy
03-01-2007, 05:22 AM
How is that possible??
I donīt know


Syflex displacement is above MD_Scan in the list?
Yes


During play-back did you disable Syflex completely and used MD_Plug?
Yes

When you perform a MD_scan no deformation is displayed. I use both, cached and none cached simulation.

joschy
03-01-2007, 05:32 AM
Found one "Save Transformed Sequenze" plugin here,
http://www.interialabs.de/lw/lscript/
...could be something, saves in LWO2 format.

Yeah, this work. But we had same trouble using the object replacer in a old projekt. OK, it was LW 8.5. May be in 9.0 itīs works better...

erikals
03-01-2007, 05:57 AM
Test in 9.0, if still present, post in the 9.2 beta bug forum, I can do it 4 u if you don't have access.

joschy
03-01-2007, 06:03 AM
I have done a little test with 9.0, it seems to work know...
It is a little circumstantial to save first over 1000 LWO files before to start rendering :thumbsdow ...

Mrjack
03-01-2007, 06:58 AM
i have syflex when i want to use md scan i back the syflex simulation after than i use md scan

joschy
03-01-2007, 07:21 AM
GOT IT :D

So I solved it:
1) Cache your syflex ani
2) Add MD_Scan and move it too first, choose a name and let md_scan scan..
3) Then lets play the animation again
4) open md_scan again and resave the mdd-file
5) disable md_scan and syflex
6) add md_plug and load the saved mdd-file

7) render

cheers, joschy

joschy
03-01-2007, 07:27 AM
tested, itīs not needed that md_scan ist first....

pooby
03-01-2007, 07:32 AM
Ideally you shouldn't have to do that. Screamernet should be able to see Syflex's own cache. It adds an inefficiency you don't want both in workflow and drive space.
I'd write to Syflex if I were you and get them to make their cache screamernet-compatible. (maybe Newtek too, to check it's not an issue at Lw's end)

joschy
03-01-2007, 07:46 AM
:agree:
I will send them a e-mail....

tonybliss
03-01-2007, 07:47 AM
I am now seeing this ... I
happy you figured out how to bake the sim joschy
I have not tested my nodes with syflex as yet, but as Pooby said, screamernet should see the cache files ... check your setup and/or file paths

joschy
03-01-2007, 07:51 AM
I am now seeing this ... I
happy you figured out how to bake the sim joschy
I have not tested my nodes with syflex as yet, but as Pooby said, screamernet should see the cache files ... check your setup and/or file paths


The file path is ok, with network direction. I use spider as network rendering controller. So, I can see when a node has a problem and can check what kind of problem there is. With syflex the nodes start loading the plug-in and send immediatly scene finshed rendered....

tonybliss
03-01-2007, 02:50 PM
arrgh! ok that would require a fix ...
email gerad then, lets know what is the verdict :D

erik will try and make some time the week to come for a tut ... :)

erikals
03-01-2007, 03:43 PM
Thanks, very cool cgswami :)
I'm really curious about this Syflex plugin, hope to get it myself one of these days.

If I did I'd sure test some Muscle Simulation, it might work allright, would take some time though... but it could be worth the effort...:)

Sensei
03-01-2007, 07:48 PM
GOT IT :D


Good that you solved it.. :) I knew that must be simple mistake.. :)

Cageman
03-02-2007, 12:00 AM
Yeah, this work. But we had same trouble using the object replacer in a old projekt. OK, it was LW 8.5. May be in 9.0 itīs works better...

Scroll down to the bottom of this page: http://www.ef9.com/ef9/PO1.5/PointOven_Downloads.html

"MDD compiler
This tool takes a sequence of lwo files and compiles them into an mdd file. License free."

erikals
03-02-2007, 04:41 AM
Nice, most welcome link :)

WCameron
03-02-2007, 08:16 AM
since this has been out for awhile now, and people seem to have it, are there any good tutorials on it anywhere? or is it similar enough that you could work from a Tutorial for the Maya version?

- Will.

Extent
03-02-2007, 03:33 PM
I was going to do a short write up on converting a Sas wig for syflex simulation a while ago, but after spending a day on it I was so unimpressed I decided to not bother, clothfx was faster and easier to work with (at least for that one task)

The plugin is very much the same as the maya version. Not every field is in both, but certainly enough that the maya tutorials are still relevant.

It shouldnt be too hard to translate the syflex cache file directly into an MDD. From the docs:

The format of the cache file is very simple: it's a binary file. The first part of the file contains the positions of each vertex (3 floats: x,y,z). The second part contains the velocities of each vertex (3 floats: vx,vy,vz).

tonybliss
03-02-2007, 05:05 PM
Yep, just as Extent said; tho' some of the extra features such as wrinkle is missing (Gerard said it may be included in a later version) and there are no presets(there or ability to save).
It should be noted tho' that each calculation is dependant on the size on the object being calculated and the frame per second (fps) settings you are using. This is because the settings require that you enter values that are relevant to these items in your scene; it helps greatly in getting faster and better simulations using Syflex. I have done some web research(mainly forums,google) in my spare time and read the docs supplied. Apart from that I have not seen any main tutorials for Syflex !yet!. Once I get some time and start this char job I have, I wil do something for the LW syflex community.

Extent
03-04-2007, 03:41 AM
OK here is a simple syflex cache -> MDD converter I whipped up (including the source). I'm no developer though so it's certainly not the most efficient code ever, but it works.

just run SYF2MDD.exe with no arguments to see this usage message


Syflex cache -> MDD converter 0.1

USAGE:

SYF2MDD source destination [fps]

source The base name for the syflex cache files to convert
destination The name for the target MDD file
fps FPS to encode the MDD file at (default 30)


EXAMPLE:

SYF2MDD cache output.mdd 29.97

This begins reading cache0001 and saves output.mdd, encoding at 29.97 fps.

Notes:
This utility assumes that the cache files start at number 0001. There's currently no way to change that.

MDD files seem to have an extra, undeformed copy of all the points at the very beginning of the file. Since Syflex doesn't save a 0 frame cache file I just duplicate the first frames data to this part.

tonybliss
03-04-2007, 03:55 AM
wow extent I WILL try this in a bit ....
THANKS ....

tonybliss
03-04-2007, 07:33 PM
I gave it a try with the syflex shirt tutorial it did not work well. The mdd does not deform the cloth mesh properly.

Extent
03-04-2007, 09:00 PM
I just ran the shirt example again here and it works perfectly except for frame 0 where the shoulder intersects with the collision object (expected). How do you mean not deforming properly?

Also make sure you didn't specify the wrong FPS when converting, for the shirt demo the MD_Plug status line should read "60frame 2.00s 4212points"

tonybliss
03-05-2007, 02:08 AM
will try again ....
thanks for this :)

hrgiger
03-06-2007, 07:03 PM
Hey people, I finally broke down and bought Syflex tonight (Student version $220). I've been playing with it for the last half hour and all I have to say is wow, good stuff.

I will try and put together some things and post some examples by the weekend of how it is working for me.

Stooch
03-06-2007, 10:08 PM
a software package that has pretenses of character animation these days, better have a way to animate hair and cloth in order to be competitive.

Unless you are interested in animating naked and bald characters. and no its not ok to fake those with SBDs...

Sasquach is not a competitive product IMO. Lets hope the current projects can fill this gap.

Werner
03-08-2007, 12:22 PM
Scroll down to the bottom of this page: http://www.ef9.com/ef9/PO1.5/PointOven_Downloads.html

"MDD compiler
This tool takes a sequence of lwo files and compiles them into an mdd file. License free."

I'm really tired, and maybe I'm doing something stupid but the compiler does not work for me. I tried it with several LWO files, but get the same error message over and over.

"Cannot open D:\LWO... bla bla Process aborted"

erikals
03-08-2007, 12:40 PM
Me too... Zzzzz
But, did you try this one?
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=505999&postcount=75

Werner
03-08-2007, 01:27 PM
I wanted to use it on Rigid body animation from XSI 6 done by someone else, but now that the compiler does not work, I have to ad MDD plugin to all the object files separately. Argh...too bad. I did email them anyway, so maybe they will look into it.

Red_Oddity
03-09-2007, 08:16 AM
Sooo, any of you guys tried the new Nucleus Cloth module for Maya 8.5 yet?

All i can say is, wow....holy cow dung...it is fast, it is stable, it is completely integrated and it is very easy to use.

tonybliss
03-09-2007, 08:21 AM
I checked it out on the website .. looks amazing ... but god knows I do not want to resort to Maya

Werner
03-09-2007, 09:14 AM
lol, I feel the same way about Maya...no thanks!

I agree though. It really looks powerfull.

Sensei
03-30-2007, 02:31 AM
Important questions to Syflex owners:
- does it work with splines?
- does it work with chain of 2 point polygons?
If it does can you make example animation showing this in practice.. ?

joschy
03-30-2007, 03:10 AM
Important questions to Syflex owners:
- does it work with splines?
- does it work with chain of 2 point polygons?
If it does can you make example animation showing this in practice.. ?

No,it does nīt. Also Null objects as pin does nīt, Memory error... :grumpy:

By the way, nice and fast simulation.

joschy

tonybliss
03-30-2007, 04:49 AM
Sensei do you have something up you sleeves where cloth sims are concerned ???? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm???

Anyway just as joschy says :) :(
PS I have not forgotten to make a short clothing tut with this. Hopefully by next week I will make some time.

HowardM
03-15-2008, 05:22 PM
finally got to play a little with lw syflex and I think its pretty damn cool, and comparable to maya's version minus a few things...

cant key anything, which is kinda lame...

ncloth does rock, being able to use the rest of mayas winds, etc is such an advantage, and their pins are diverse and great!

hopefully there will be an upgrade to syflex for lw with more tweaks such as keyframing, and a much better GUI, as of now its not fun... too many clicks... or maybe this is just a LW issue thing that he cant get around.

either way, it kicks clothfx's ***! if you finally want good cloth in lw, get syflex! :D the self collision alone is worth it! no more mice! ;)

erikals
03-17-2008, 02:37 PM
Was unsure about the keyframing thing, so wrote an email asking and parts of the reply was..
Keyframes are barely used in Maya or XSI. For instance, animators rarely need to animate the stiffness of a cloth, or its friction.
So keyframes are not really useful.
You can still animate nails and pins and collisions in Lightwave, using keyframes or any other animation method.

Yeah, if only LW had better selfcollision, no mice, and better,.. heck.. heh, hope they upgrade it soon :D

HowardM
03-18-2008, 08:36 AM
i meant keyframe windspeed, direction, power....etc.
no you dont need to key stiffness, etc..

i wonder if things can be controlled via lscript or whatever, because in maya you can control alot and write scripts do things like reset the pins.

either way great to see syflex for lw! :D

RebelHill
03-18-2008, 09:44 AM
tbh.... ive been unimpressed with syflex in LW. Sure its better than clothFX when it comes to that "fizzing" that u get when cloth is resting on an object... but i still find that at certain times syflex will still have a lil piece of a cloth object here or there vibrating... usually, i think, if the cloth in that area has bunched up too tightly, due of course, to the shape underneaths pose... I also note that theres far fewer options in the LW version thatn the maya version... and theres no option in LW to be able to use weights, or whatever other vmap, to control areas where cloth is stiffer, or looser, heavier or lighter, which makes it difficult to say.. make trousers with an ironed crease ro some such. I also notice.. that when it comes to more compex objects, for instance jackets, with shoulders and sleeves... SF is almost as useless as clothFX... as soon as ur characters arms start swinging around, things can start to go quite wrong.

Havent used the maya version at all, all ive seen of its use is stuff posted online... but by that appearance... syflex LW just feels like syflex lite... or ClothFX without the "rest-fizz"... nothing more.

/disappointed blog.

DAMAKERS
03-18-2008, 11:43 AM
Hi guys

imo LW and Syflex are good enough in their way, Cloth_FX is well integrate with other dynamics tools, i know clollision formula is the main trouble cuz is slow when working on high poly objects, and i see syflex just for those cases when u need to handle that situation because its fast solving, so Cloth_FX can be used almost for everything, and Sy for clothing characters were the complex calculation wont be a high wall to climb.

I ve made two videos samples where siflex were use just to drive subpatch geometry, cuz for some reason, real motion blur dont works with syflex cache data, but when its converted to MD, real motion blur works fine.

Videos Page (http://www.damakers.com/syflex)

maybe this answer some of the questions made in this thread.

ill be playing arround with Sy to see what else comes out.

also heres my page, not for promotion, just to see in the demo some scenes were cloth_FX were use... no syflex there.

Web Page (http://damakers.com)

cheers!!! :lightwave

erikals
03-18-2008, 12:05 PM
Hm, no weightmap? So no way to controll stiffness of the cloth in any way?
All or nothing using Nails/Pins sounds a bit bad...
Well, one day... one day...

DAMAKERS
03-18-2008, 12:24 PM
Hm, no weightmap? So no way to controll stiffness of the cloth in any way?
All or nothing using Nails/Pins sounds a bit bad...
Well, one day... one day...

Right now, i dont have any information about that, but ill experiment with gradient weightmaps to see what i can get, with no promisses at all.

RebelHill
03-18-2008, 12:49 PM
theres no buttons in syLW to let u use maps to control, or vary attributes... makes in near impossible to create anything other than flat/smooth cloth... means u have to rely on pins, and secondary hold geometry to get a "hold structure" like behaviour at different spots... its quite a pain. Maybe u could make a higer res version with details such as stitching, seams, creases, pockets, etc, and somehow dodge in the motion from a sy calc... but its way off perfect.

erikals
03-18-2008, 03:10 PM
I read somethign about the Nails having "soft nails" which was defined using a weightmap. It didn't say much more than that, but to me it seemed that that would be the same as using a weightmap in LW?

RebelHill
03-18-2008, 04:37 PM
well... it does use weightmaps, to define nails and pins... which are basically the same as the fix option in lwcloth... but thats it... stiffness, bend, shear, weight, stiff, etc, all the important properties... are all just simple value requesters... no "T", no "E" modifiers.

drfoley
03-20-2008, 08:45 PM
Like the title says. It wont work with FBX so if you use MotionBuilder and you need good cloth on your characters your SCREWED.

Found this out the hard way. For some reason, when you import the bone data back into LW from Motionbuilder, your character's mesh is seperated from it's bounding box. SyFlex needs this bounding box to calculate. Nothing happens when you calculate because these 2 are seperated.

I'm back to ClothFX now struggling.

Don't know what to do now.

:stop:

HowardM
03-21-2008, 04:09 AM
Instead of Metalink, use Syflex and Clothfx (Just to do the scan and save the mdd, and playback) to sim on a low res Syflex model and then animate the Hires Cloth. Its a hack but it works, but you must clear the ClothFX motion when resimming Syflex...

Yes, this is SyLite, in Maya you can paint attribute maps for anything, wrinkles, mass, stiffness, etc, would be nice in LW. Also since you can do things at a vertex level, you can make wrinkles by animating pins, which I dont think you can do in LW...although I bet you could do a morph...

Ah well, its Syflex 1.0 for LW, if enough people show interest (and buy it!) perhaps Gerard will develop it even further!

Trust me, even in Maya, if your characters underarms pinch up, there is no way you will get any Cloth simulator to work well and not bunch up, so usually you need to tweak models to prevent this.

Havent played with it enough to see what its like on a clothed character in LW compared to the ones weve been doing in Maya, but again, its never as simple as model a character, animate, make cloth, walla!...
it takes days of tweaking to get things to look good or realistic, and there will always be work arounds or fakes to get things to work right, like smoothing out underarms, crotches, adding low res collision objs, tweaking vertices after the sim is done, etc...
cloth sim is one of the hardest things to do right and it takes a lot of work if there are multiple cloths like a shirt with a vest or a coat on top.

the next Potter is going to be hell for us! ;)

Eugeny
03-21-2008, 08:53 AM
Like the title says. It wont work with FBX so if you use MotionBuilder and you need good cloth on your characters your SCREWED.

Found this out the hard way. For some reason, when you import the bone data back into LW from Motionbuilder, your character's mesh is seperated from it's bounding box. SyFlex needs this bounding box to calculate. Nothing happens when you calculate because these 2 are seperated.

I'm back to ClothFX now struggling.

Don't know what to do now.

:stop:

SyFlex don't need any box to calculate. Make sure your cloth object is above the collision object in the scene editor and cloth object don't have a parent
If your conditions like above and syClth still won't to calculate, scan you character with MD_Scan and use the scan instead of bones.

Eugeny
03-21-2008, 09:09 AM
I'm recently finished project involved some heavy syCloth usage so here is my few notes:
1. Real time - i don't know that kind of characters u guys making and what kind of cloth u guys are trying to simulate but for my project syFlex was far from real time, the fastest update was something like one frame in one second and it's was on quad MacPro, 4 Gig ram , GeForce 7300 ( it's sucks i know but this is that i have), XP 64. SyCloth don't use mutithread so only one processor was used for the calculation (as usual on Lightwave, it's pity the old MD was able to run on few threads).
2. Because of the heavy calculations some times it's was pain in the *** to stop the calculation process ( u need to push "pause" button with mouse, and during calculation LW UI is not really responding , I'm solved this by applying short key to "pause" ), i will prefer the escape solution or even dump lightwave's "cntrl" solution. Some times killing lightwave was the fastest way to stop the calculation.
3. Lack of presets or option to save the settings. Damn even LW cloth effects have save and copy button so u can easy save all parameters to HD and quickly load them back, and belive me u need it!
SyCloth use the "envelopes" for defining the collision but still it's look for the collision of the point with polygon (nothing new here). So some times u need go back to modeler and make additional edge loop just to make certain part of cloth not to penetrate the collision body. And guess what, u need to reapply syCloth and reenter all parameters ones again (it's five floating windows), so have piece of paper near the keyboard or make print screen of the parameters.
4. Some time u need to get some "rest" time for the cloth, i mean one or two second without character movement, the easiest way to do this is to start the calculation from say -50 frame (like in particles). SyFlex can do this but can't erase the cache files below frame zero. And u really want to use cache , because after one hour of calculation u will want to see the motion in real time and if u need some changes u need to erase the cache files. From the interface it's erasing only from from zero to above not below. The only way to completely erase the cache file is from windows, so keep the cache folder open.
5. Lack of usage of weight maps. As a RebelHill мentioned it's does use weight maps but only for pining. In my case i needed to simulate cloth made from tiger skin with head of tiger. The head was completely screwed during simulation. If i only had the option to define the more rigid area with weight maps, but syCloth don't have it.
6. SyCloth really don't like any additional deformations on the cloth (so no bones on cloth), even more the cloth object mast be completely independent and aligned with collision object.
Despite all this negatives syCloth is match match better then ClothFX. After two weeks of extensive usage of it (two TD's ,three characters, two 1000 frame shots) we finished the job, with lot of workarounds but finished . My boss was completely mad about this and was nearly the aborting whole "that cloth thing" :D

P.S. Sorry for the poor english.

P.P.S. Here is the one of the characters , it's Shiva , one of the Indian gods. U can see the collision body and cloth as well as the props that also used for collisions with cloth.

DAMAKERS
03-21-2008, 09:34 AM
another test...

pins following deformations and displacements.

Pins Movie (http://www.damakers.com/syflex/page2.html)

DAMAKERS
03-21-2008, 10:53 AM
with this test... i can say... pins were not made to hold geometry... and, if am wrong, then pins dont work properly... just a point constrain... but.. it can be forced to do it and the results may be not the espected.

Pin Hold Geometry (http://www.damakers.com/syflex/page3.html)

mav3rick
03-21-2008, 01:31 PM
nothing to see there

mav3rick
03-21-2008, 01:33 PM
ugh sorry :) was waiting 4 refresh

erikals
03-21-2008, 06:26 PM
with this test... i can say... pins were not made to hold geometry... and, if am wrong, then pins dont work properly... just a point constrain... but.. it can be forced to do it and the results may be not the espected.

Pin Hold Geometry (http://www.damakers.com/syflex/page3.html)

I'm sure its just some settings you have overlooked, test some more, or post the settings or scene, its probably just a glitch somewhere.

DAMAKERS
03-21-2008, 11:24 PM
dint explain what i was trying to do with the test... sry about that... also i used the wrong name... is not the pin i used, is the soft nail... and the test is because this...


5. Lack of usage of weight maps. As a RebelHill мentioned it's does use weight maps but only for pining. In my case i needed to simulate cloth made from tiger skin with head of tiger. The head was completely screwed during simulation. If i only had the option to define the more rigid area with weight maps, but syCloth don't have it.

then i decide to test the the soft nail of Syflex by using one object with a weightmap were the head have to stay rigid, and used a null to move the head.

these are the settings and weightmap

Weightmap (http://www.damakers.com/syflex/WeightDragon.jpg) ...... Syflex Settings (http://www.damakers.com/syflex/SySetingsDragon.jpg)

erikals
03-22-2008, 05:24 AM
I'm a bit confused here, but if I'm right, to me it seams that the 'Pin Hold Geometry' video (which really is supposed to be 'Nail Hold Geometry' as of the spelling error like you explained) is using the weightmap with misc settings and is working as it should... (right?) And that Pinning (that is not shown in any examples here) has some problems making the points fixed. I have to head out though,.. eastertime... :chicken:

HowardM
03-22-2008, 05:29 AM
So some times u need go back to modeler and make additional edge loop just to make certain part of cloth not to penetrate the collision body. And guess what, u need to reapply syCloth and reenter all parameters ones again (it's five floating windows), so have piece of paper near the keyboard or make print screen of the parameters.
4. Some time u need to get some "rest" time for the cloth, i mean one or two second without character movement, the easiest way to do this is to start the calculation from say -50 frame (like in particles). SyFlex can do this but can't erase the cache files below frame zero.

Yeah stinks that if you make any changes in modeler youre screwed, presets would be nice!

As for negative frames, this is why we always start our scenes at 1000, so any runups are normal #s.... ;)

Too bad there isnt SySkin and the other SyGoodies that maya Syflex comes with....

HowardM
03-22-2008, 05:32 AM
dint explain what i was trying to do with the test... sry about that... also i used the wrong name... is not the pin i used, is the soft nail... and the test is because this...

soft nail or pin is just to allow you to have a loose pin, with a spring action on it, so its not 100% rigid.

in maya you can use pins to keep cloth fully attached to the object if you pin the whole or parts (every other edge, will make wrinkles) to the object.

DAMAKERS
03-22-2008, 09:54 AM
thats exact what am trying to tell... as i see... pins or nails only attaches cloth to geometry, and yes, can use a weithmap to try to hold rigid a portion, but gonna get wrinkles, and if forced to stabilize cranking parameters u may get wrong results.

thx howard, my english is a bit bad :thumbsup:

Carm3D
03-23-2008, 01:21 AM
Howard, does XSI's SyFlex do SySkin?

HowardM
03-23-2008, 02:39 AM
dunno, never tried XSI ;)

how YOU doing dude?

Carm3D
03-23-2008, 02:44 AM
I'm good... Check your email. :)

drfoley
03-24-2008, 06:08 PM
"SyFlex don't need any box to calculate. Make sure your cloth object is above the collision object in the scene editor and cloth object don't have a parent
If your conditions like above and syClth still won't to calculate, scan you character with MD_Scan and use the scan instead of bones."

Thanks for the response but Gerard himself told me that SyFlex needs the bounding box to make its calculation. Since the mesh gets seperated from its bounding box, after importing bone data with FBX, no calculation is made.

I could use the scan instead of bones for the animation but how would I apply the scan to my character with his bounding box in its proper place?

If I merge the FBX data to my character I can then scan the motion like you said but I'm still left with a character seperated from his bounding box.

Is there a way to take the scan data and apply it to a brand new scene with a character in its T-stance(bounding box in its proper place)?

If I could do that then it would work.

Thanks

RebelHill
03-24-2008, 06:50 PM
Is there a way to take the scan data and apply it to a brand new scene with a character in its T-stance

of course, add mdplug on the mesh... load the mdd file.

HowardM
03-25-2008, 03:37 AM
you guys seen this?
http://www.wxtools.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=32

http://vimeo.com/819612

Red_Oddity
03-25-2008, 04:21 AM
Wow, those are some nice rubber dresses and table cloths, great when you have small kids, easy to keep clean.

erikals
03-25-2008, 04:49 AM
you guys seen this?
http://www.wxtools.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=32

http://vimeo.com/819612

Damn, looks like some nice clothing.
And free (!)
This is way cool... thanks for the link.
Also check this example, http://dldw.de/tmp/index.php?file=0018_0175.avi
amongst other examples, http://dldw.de/tmp/index.php

Nice :)

pooby
03-25-2008, 04:59 AM
does XSI's SyFlex do SySkin?


It does

HowardM
03-26-2008, 02:34 AM
Wow, those are some nice rubber dresses and table cloths, great when you have small kids, easy to keep clean.

heheh you talking about the blender cloth?

come on mate, its 100x better than clothfx, and if you dl and try it you will see, it may be slow, but the collisions/self collisions are spot on, out the box, no dancing mice....nice compared to clothfx or even syflex in LW!

come on Newtek, enough is enough, wise up!

thirdmonster
03-27-2008, 10:53 AM
It's difficult to work with (the LW version, at least). It crashed a lot. And the results were not what I was expecting. What I got was a lot of "even motion." Meaning: it all seemed like a displacement using a sine wave. Now, I didn't delve too deeply since time was critical when I was testing it so I didn't have time to "paint" in weight maps to create specific folds or hold areas, although the "pinning" feature seemed to work well. For my part I ended up with the most realistic cloth by using PointOven and moving into Maya. nCloth is simply amazing. Way easier than Syflex and the results are so realistic I just sat there, staring at the screen as the animation played over and over. 'couse this is more expensive than $220. PointOven is 99$, and I think you can get a student price on Maya 2008 Unlimited from www.studica.com for $379.95...which is a big difference in price; however you are getting the unlimited version, so it's got that going for it. Anyway, just my two cents.

silviotoledo
05-30-2008, 01:06 PM
Syflex for lightwave is cool! I am wearing it. Generally the simulations are realtime, but sometimes simulations is not the way I expect. I sended some bug reports and the syflex team sended me a better version with more improvements wich solves some problems.

Anyway I don't know other Lightwavers Syflex users to discuss some ideas. I guess Syflex for Maya and Xsi is still better than the version available for lightwave.

erikals
05-30-2008, 01:20 PM
Did you test it on more complex cloth, like thirdmonster did?
From what I've seen Syflex looks to be fast, but is it that much better when it comes to accuracy?

silviotoledo
05-30-2008, 01:38 PM
yeah, I'm testing on complex characters.

I don't have something online, but you can see my old tests ( before reporting bugs to syflex team ).

SEE HERE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chpTepVYR3I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73Vu8ktcymk

These were realtime simulations.

ctually I'm getting better results with a new version of syflex, but not yet perfect.


I tried cloth fx and it crosses the object totally instead I add some collisions spheres.
I mean it cross everything except spheres and kills the character anatomy.



The best results I got was on Maya n-cloth, but it's boring to go throughtout another application.

Syflex is not perfect, but it has now collisions spheres too and it's really fast. Cloth FX took more than one day to calculate the same simulation with more errors.

silviotoledo
05-30-2008, 01:41 PM
Pins works fine for me now on syflex and I preffer it than constrains in maya, wich is something alien to me.

silviotoledo
05-30-2008, 01:49 PM
Hey third Monster!

Are you the guy that worked on Zoic , Eden FX and Rhythm & Hues ?

Julez4001
08-27-2008, 03:36 PM
Can Syflex read mdd deformation and then compute the deformations on top of that.

silviotoledo
08-28-2008, 02:13 PM
Syflex can't read MDD, it has their own cache file, but once we have syflex applied, we can MDD SCAN IT and save deformation as MDD.

I think it's possible syflex recognize deformed object if syflex displacement comes after MDD deformer. I didn't try this yet. Can't try now 'cause my computer is at the Hospital :).

Now I wear an special syflex version reviewed by syflex team wich allows me to calculate dynamics on 2 point polys and get realtime feedback ( I mean during preview ) for. hair simulation

Julez4001
08-28-2008, 05:46 PM
I animated a charcter in Messiah and would like Syflex to deform his cape as ClothFX keeps clogging up when interpreting the mdd file.
.

silviotoledo
09-03-2008, 06:06 PM
Messiah now have cloth simulation. Have you tried it?

Cape generally does not have to much contact with the character, so you can add some bones to the cape and also some colliding objects to control it better.

I have no idea why would cloth Fx fail. Just use cape and colison object as diffrent layer objects.