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View Full Version : What is the most tedious LW project you have ever done?



Matt Buxton
07-17-2007, 10:43 AM
Right its time to start a thread, hopefully someone will reply this time.... (cries)
anyway im undertaking a game format conversion anyone got anything more boring than that?...

most boring project wins um ...

well i'l think of something!

toby
07-17-2007, 10:54 AM
A tv commercial set in a gigantic junkyard. About 20 million polys per shot (divided into 4-5 passes), hundereds of objects to texture (without image maps), and it looked like garbage.

Matt Buxton
07-17-2007, 11:11 AM
thats pretty bad i hate sorting through piles of textures on one map (shudder)
i feel for you man

StereoMike
07-17-2007, 12:18 PM
Cleaning catia data.
I used to get the exported vrml data, and that wasn't fun. Catia doesn't allow you to specify the quality for the vrml export, so the files had holes, were lowpoly and not suitable for rendering. So I had to rework/fix/remodel the parts that are seen in the animation. Often poly after poly...

Today I use MoI to convert .igs data into .lwo. Much better. There's still alot of work (mostly smoothing issues due to missing vertex normals in LW) but with MoI I'm in control of most of the quality.

mike

Steamthrower
07-17-2007, 12:31 PM
An animation that displayed hundreds of nanospheres clumping together under an electron microscope. The problem was that the client was very specific about the movement of the spheres so I couldn't use hypervoxels or any type of particles - they were all heroes. Each was about 1,000 polys so I had about a million in total.

Render...render...

...and then the timing needed adjustment ("add 2 seconds to the fly-in"). Open up dope track!

archijam
07-17-2007, 02:55 PM
Mr Rid! This thread needs you! :)

j.

Matt
07-17-2007, 03:52 PM
I once had to create an entire field of grass by hand, blade by blade!

:D

No seriously, not really had anything major, probably having to save different versions of scenes, modify the lws file to load different objects (same objects, but different names) so I could texture them differently. Had LW had instancing that also allowed unique surfaces, it would have been much easier!

Tom Wood
07-17-2007, 04:11 PM
I guess I'm lucky. The most tedious thing I've done is to take a toroid and pull all the points into several different mouth shapes for a morph map. Then discovering that RotateMorph didn't work for some reason, and doing it all over again with the toroid in the correct rotation. I did learn about grouping points that second time around though. :D

Lewis
07-17-2007, 06:06 PM
Optimizing CAD data of a CAR who is having 9.7 milion polygons (all triangles freezed from NURBS) to Lw friendly model. I ended up at 5.4 milion polygons what all needed to be manually welded/merged and then surfaced to 100+ materials. All that wouldn't be a bad/hard thing if it wasn't happening in year 2003 with Slow GFX card (3Dlabs Wildcat VP760 64MB), Modeler 7.0, 1GB of RAM while file of model was 80-90MB with each incremental save. I still feeel my pain from back then (worked for 2 weeks jus ton modeling :)). And after all that i had to render it in 5100*3500 resolution witg 1GB machine. I was rendering in 4 pieces (limited region) + 3GB of VMEM and few days of actuall rendering :). It turned out pretty nice at end :).

Mr Rid
07-17-2007, 06:48 PM
Mr Rid! This thread needs you! :)
j.

Let's see, rigging a complex character in Lightwave.... or painting a bunch of weight maps on it in Modeler... or getting Lightwave dynamics to work with it... or getting Japanese plugins to work with the dynamics... or interpreting Japanese support for the plugins... a week later, after I abandon IK, expressions, dynamics and plugins, I manually animate and displace a shirt sleeve to move with an arm as it bends to pick up a pencil (and everyone marvels at how it was done in LW).

But seriously folks. I've learned it's often better to avoid complex tools and just get in there and animate the damn thing 'tediously.'

Like it was better to tediously animate each falling rope manually (point constraints), apply 38 displacement map layers to get fabric 'dynamics', and someone spent days dicking with Maya 'burn' tools but I came up with a procedural erode/burn in a few hours. http://www.box.net/shared/static/bhms42dmfs.mov I dont mind tedium if there is a useful end result. But here the ropes disappeared in the final comp, and the erode/burn holes were almost not used in the comp.

I haven't had to do too much of it, but my wife worked for 3 months hand-rotoing 70 people in a long pullout shot for Memoirs of a Geisha. Every day she wanted to leap out a window. Then the shot was cut from the film.

I know how a group of very talented artists at Frantic Films killed themselves on a nightmare schedule to turn out a dazzling FX sequence for Superman Returns... that was entirely cut from the film. And they are still not allowed to show it to anyone.

The worst is when your tedium is all for nothing.

Animapper
07-17-2007, 07:25 PM
i was ready to post my colossal CAD conversion of an entire campus as the MOST INSANE undertaking I've ever done, but the Mr. RID and Lewis post reminds me that this is the path we've chosen. You know, it's pretty cool when we pull it off though, huh?

This is why SIGGRAPH is important as a get-together for the overworked!!

Regards,]

LW_Will
07-17-2007, 10:22 PM
A tv commercial set in a gigantic junkyard. About 20 million polys per shot (divided into 4-5 passes), hundereds of objects to texture (without image maps), and it looked like garbage.

Yeah, but wasn't it... um, never mind...

Chris S. (Fez)
07-17-2007, 11:06 PM
Laying out nice neat UVs on even vaguely complex models used to be beyond tedious didn't it? I still hate UVs with a passion but the new idiot-proof unwrapping tools in Lightwave/Max/Modo are really a godsend...


But here the ropes disappeared in the final comp, and the erode/burn holes were almost not used in the comp.

Very cool clip. Thanks for sharing.

Lamont
07-17-2007, 11:16 PM
Well there are a few that are up there:

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Cleaning HUGE terrain datasets. Some dumb___t at (Insert a VERY large US military contractor), decided that "Oh, well, I am not going to spend ANY time looking for the geotiffs, I'll send the terrain as a mesh on a HDD.".

So I get a HDD with 1300+ 87mb Maya files. Whoever did it, just brought in the most dense shape file from Solidworks and that was it. So I had to go in and manually put all the tiles together in LW and join them. It was a LOT of welding. It was a good thing that each file kept it's location in 3D space, or I would have jumped out the window.

I would like to add Maya didn't help at all, I had to write a script that deleted all the extra node info Maya adds for whatever the reason, otherwise the files would have been un-workable. THANK YOU ALIAS (At the time it was Alias).
-------------------------------------------------
Next would have to be the ever-changing "Final" prototype on some dental hardware by 3M. Making the changes wasn't hard, it was dealing with the a-holes who didn't know what they were talking about.
-------------------------------------------------

Stooch
07-17-2007, 11:18 PM
Optimizing CAD data of a CAR who is having 9.7 milion polygons (all triangles freezed from NURBS) to Lw friendly model. I ended up at 5.4 milion polygons what all needed to be manually welded/merged and then surfaced to 100+ materials. All that wouldn't be a bad/hard thing if it wasn't happening in year 2003 with Slow GFX card (3Dlabs Wildcat VP760 64MB), Modeler 7.0, 1GB of RAM while file of model was 80-90MB with each incremental save. I still feeel my pain from back then (worked for 2 weeks jus ton modeling :)). And after all that i had to render it in 5100*3500 resolution witg 1GB machine. I was rendering in 4 pieces (limited region) + 3GB of VMEM and few days of actuall rendering :). It turned out pretty nice at end :).

lol. there is a bunch of plugins and scripts out there that can automatically turn tris into quads. i had to do crap like taht befo and that saved me alot of time.

Lewis
07-18-2007, 02:07 AM
lol. there is a bunch of plugins and scripts out there that can automatically turn tris into quads. i had to do crap like taht befo and that saved me alot of time.

Nope triangels wasn't been issue (mergeTrigonX is my best friend in modeler :)), Optimizing that to less dense mesh was main problem i tried many of optimizing scripts/plugins and it wasn't working well (polygon chruncher, Quem loss3....) none of them keeps smooth polyflow. Individual patches of NURBS export aren't been aligned with each other (when you get bumper which staerts few times form scratch and everycureve is it's own patch wiht it's own number of poly rows what don't align with heighbour patches..) so I had to remodel many parts from scratch. Guy who was exporting it didn't pay attention to any of those and I didn't have original IGES/NURBS file to convert on my own :). I remmeber that i was waiting 30-45 seconds for EACH SAVE of file form modeler and i was praying each time (please don't crash while saving :)).

Matt Buxton
07-23-2007, 10:17 AM
well there seems to be no end to the tedium of my current project, tho you guys obviously have had it much worse!

currently optimising objects that are gonna be viewed through a cartoon render and on a 192 pixel screen. lol all this mesh and some of the objects are only gonna be around 20 px high!

oh and as an aside my network drive is doing stange things to modeller, such as deciding it wants to look for images in non existant content directories! it wouldnt be so much of a problem but ds levels need cutting into 25m chunks and therefor im ending up with 35 plus objects just for the one level. and now i have to open each one and manually reasign the image to the texture for each surface of which there are about 12 per chunk 12 x 35 x 3levels it happened to. im starting to get sick of hitting F5

IMI
07-23-2007, 04:10 PM
The project I'm currently working on is the most tedious so far. I was given a very large, 62,000-some polygon futuristic robot/machine model, to create a UV map and texture for it. It has gears and treads and pulleys and pipes and vents and cages... and all kinds of other crap. It looks like it was assembled out of spare parts from a junkyard. Very "steam punk".
The problem is, it has to be OBJ and have only one UV map. I'm getting godawful tired of dragging points around. :D

Steamthrower
07-23-2007, 04:33 PM
You know, it's kind of funny...this whole thread is complaining (from myself as well as anyone) about tedium.

Isn't everybody paid hourly? :lol:

GoneGuy
07-23-2007, 06:13 PM
What an excellent thread.

Now I have a little idea of what you 3D professionals have to deal with. I will think carefully before posting my next "Help with UVs" thread...

(Although I may just have shot myself in the foot)

tonybliss
07-23-2007, 07:38 PM
oh .... mine was to recreate and animate a closely realistic character that died, in three days for a massive concert; in the end we had to comprimise, lack of proper sources, but it was a harrowing experience and a very learning one too ;)

Steamthrower
07-23-2007, 10:09 PM
Not LW but directly related. Using other 3D software, I recreated from 2d CAD drawings around 200,000 sf of a gigantic campus (four buildings with a connecting canopy)...and then added stairs, fixtures, and columns. Very stressful and very lengthy. But hey, I get paid for doing that 'cause the architect doesn't want to!

StereoMike
07-24-2007, 01:27 AM
I don't get paid hourly. boohooohoo

Captain Obvious
07-26-2007, 06:07 AM
I once worked late just loading scenes up, replacing models, and sending them to the farm. That wasn't much fun at all.

Iain
07-26-2007, 06:32 AM
Last year I built an 18 storey tower block in which every floor was different.
I enjoyed doing that but was glad when it was over.
Then a 'minor' change meant I had to strip out every floor and change them one by one.
The parts of the model which ran all the way up all the storeys also had to change.

jat
07-26-2007, 06:53 AM
Every Uv Project!!!!!!!!!

Andyjaggy
07-26-2007, 08:34 AM
You know, it's kind of funny...this whole thread is complaining (from myself as well as anyone) about tedium.

Isn't everybody paid hourly? :lol:

And that my friend is what keeps many of us sane.

Dodgy
07-26-2007, 09:01 AM
Putting lots of different images onto the correct aspect ratio polys. I did it for a few hours , then I eventually wrote a plugin which stopped my wasting hours and hours more.....

Andyjaggy
07-26-2007, 09:05 AM
Every Uv Project!!!!!!!!!

I used to feel the same way until I discovered the PLG tools.

Mine would have to be my current project. Modeling the ancient city of Jerusalem. It was fun at first but after a while it was just more of the same. Yawn UV map. Yawn clone building. Yawn another brick texture.

Captain Obvious
07-26-2007, 09:19 AM
You know, it's kind of funny...this whole thread is complaining (from myself as well as anyone) about tedium.

Isn't everybody paid hourly? :lol:
Keep in mind, though, that many of us are doing this because we think it's almost like playing for a living. The games do have their tedious moments, though.

StereoMike
07-26-2007, 10:03 AM
I make fixed prices, so I have to estimate the tedium or I get frustrated.
I get less frustrated since I gathered experience in estimating.

mike

jat
07-26-2007, 10:18 AM
[QUOTE=Andyjaggy]I used to feel the same way until I discovered the PLG tools.


Ah yes, however, Andy you know that we Mac users suck and so don't deserve any good tools.....lol........the UV NAZI says, "NO PLG Make UV for you"!!!!!!!!
..:thumbsdow :thumbsdow :thumbsdow :thumbsdow

Andyjaggy
07-26-2007, 10:25 AM
[QUOTE=Andyjaggy]I used to feel the same way until I discovered the PLG tools.


Ah yes, however, Andy you know that we Mac users suck and so don't deserve any good tools.....lol........the UV NAZI says, "NO PLG Make UV for you"!!!!!!!!
..:thumbsdow :thumbsdow :thumbsdow :thumbsdow

Oh yes I forgot they don't work on a mac. Yet another reason I am glad I am a PC guy :D

toby
07-26-2007, 09:19 PM
You know, it's kind of funny...this whole thread is complaining (from myself as well as anyone) about tedium.

Isn't everybody paid hourly? :lol:
I wouldn't call it complaining, just musing about the worst projects. I don't think there's a single job in 3D that compares to cleaning collecting garbage, writing parking tickets, fixing toilets, etc.

We can only dream.

Captain Obvious
07-26-2007, 09:58 PM
I wouldn't call it complaining, just musing about the worst projects. I don't think there's a single job in 3D that compares to cleaning collecting garbage, writing parking tickets, fixing toilets, etc.

We can only dream.
Well, it's all relative. For example, me and a coworker have been at the office since 8:30 AM yesterday morning, and it's now 5 AM. So we're up to 21 hours straight so far! Most of it consisting of REALLY tedious work, under heavy pressure (if we don't finish it within a few hours, the client gets really angry). People who write parking tickets or collect garbage do not work under this amount of pressure.

StereoMike
07-26-2007, 11:05 PM
Hey Capn Obvious:
I guess you better work more and read/write less :D

mike

Captain Obvious
07-26-2007, 11:44 PM
Waiting for renders...

toby
07-27-2007, 12:10 AM
Well, it's all relative. For example, me and a coworker have been at the office since 8:30 AM yesterday morning, and it's now 5 AM. So we're up to 21 hours straight so far! Most of it consisting of REALLY tedious work, under heavy pressure (if we don't finish it within a few hours, the client gets really angry). People who write parking tickets or collect garbage do not work under this amount of pressure.
Ahh, but which would you rather do? Even if they paid the same? :hey:
I've been there too, worked 106 hours in a week once.

Captain Obvious
07-27-2007, 12:46 AM
Well, if the pay per month was the same, I could definitely see myself doing some crap job eight hours a day and not worry about a thing. But you do have a point. I'd probably prefer what I'm doing now, even with the stress.