View Full Version : Metaballs

07-17-2003, 05:11 PM
I have been having problems making Metaballs look good (smooth / liquidy). Even the metaball resolution is set to a high level (60+) and I freeze the object, convert to a subpatch and turn on smoothing I don't get very "smooth" results. Any suggestions?

07-17-2003, 07:30 PM
Do a search through the forums as you'll find some useful info on this, along with some examples.

07-17-2003, 09:20 PM
Did that. I only found a couple on animation but nothing on surfacing, resolution, or creating.

07-17-2003, 11:23 PM
Try this one...

Hypervoxel Metaballs... (http://www.ethereal3d.com/Tutorials/HypervoxelMetaballs/HypervoxelMetaballs.html)

Looks interesting... I am tempted to do this one myself... Must look awesome, especially when animated...

07-18-2003, 09:07 AM
Try the old forum as well. The reason I'm suggesting this is becuase there isn't much documentation around about Metaprims or any really good tuts.

I've done a few tests and I'm in the process of adding the to my tut page, just give me a few more days, see link below.

07-18-2003, 05:21 PM
Riki, you're right (nice alliteration) ;)

There are very few tuts on this subject... Some questions arouse curiosity and this was one of them, so I went looking...

Seems there was one on Newtek's site "Modelling with Metaballs" but the links were dead, so I guess it was pulled, renamed, whatever...

07-19-2003, 12:36 PM
Thanks guys I will keep checking back and experimenting on my own.

07-20-2003, 10:29 AM
Here's a quick test I did with metaballs.

QT Movie 916k http://www.suture.net/tutorials/modeling/files/metaballs.mov

07-20-2003, 02:01 PM
Nice, what settings did you use for metaballs/subpatch division and AA? I can see the smoothness issues...

So wondering if it is related to subpatch resolution, AA or just metaballs...

My main machine is rendering, so I can't play... just read ;)

From reading the manual it appears that both Patch Division (General options) and Metaball resolution will be responsible for the smoothness (as well as the flatness limit). So putting much higher values for at least the metaballs resolution and your general (subpatch) division should create smoohter objects, it seems.... (like other subpatches)

07-20-2003, 04:18 PM
This is a sample of somw Metaballs with a resolution of 30. Smoothing is also on. Not too smooth. When I changed to a subpath I just got longer rendering times and decreased performance - no big improvement in quality.

07-20-2003, 04:56 PM
I tried increasing the Sub Patch Resolution but it doesn't seem to have any effect.

07-20-2003, 09:28 PM
The best application that I can see is to use them with HV. They're good for this becuase the give you a RT indication of Volume.

This is a single frame from the previous animation. The object contains about 8 metaballs.

It seems that you need to set the 'Subdivision Order' to 'After Motion' when working with MetaBalls and HV.

07-20-2003, 09:52 PM
Here's another example, the Metaball res was only set to 10 in this instance.

07-20-2003, 09:52 PM
I'd say that those are pretty smooth!

07-20-2003, 10:24 PM
here's another with a Mecury style surface. It's not perfect, you can see where the invisible Metaball is cutting away at the HV. I don't have Ray Trace Transparency turned on. My poor 400Mhz CPU can't hack it :(

07-20-2003, 10:26 PM
Looks like the FX from T3, Damn I want to animate this

07-20-2003, 10:40 PM
Here's a version with Transperacy turned on, which stops that cut away effect. But now I've got these little white dots.

07-20-2003, 11:26 PM
Finally could try it...

Here's a metabone... ;) I get issues where it refuses to render the object when the metaball res goes over 50...
Resets it to 3.

07-20-2003, 11:32 PM
Heay that's pretty smooth. The tests I did above were mostly all less than 10. I think if your using HV it just effects the density.

07-20-2003, 11:41 PM
I am not animating yet (I could rotate/move the bone and that's about it), but it is fun using these metaballs/edges. Could be useful for certain objects...

07-21-2003, 02:29 AM
Do you mean that your having trouble animating or you haven't got to that point yet?

07-21-2003, 07:33 PM
Haven't gotten around it to yet... I am working through Dan Ablan's book in a serial fashion... Currently at chapter 10, modeling a head, which will be followed by chapter 11 endomorphs, then I will be heading there slowly I expect in the following chapters...

I like to get proficient in modeling first anyway, since I am a do-it-all-yourself-if-you-can kinda guy...

So now it is organic modeling time...

07-22-2003, 12:15 AM
Sounds like fun. I've bought Dan's book a couple of times but never actually read the thing. Maybe next time :)

07-22-2003, 08:15 AM
Shame on you! ;)

Like you said, maybe Inside Lightwave 8....or X