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mccabejc
11-29-2008, 09:37 AM
Okay, I've got a complex human object, and I want to do a UV Unwrap. So I start selecting edges along the side of its leg and hip. And I do a Select Loop operation to save myself a little time, and it gets confused and starts going off and selecting stuff I don't want. But there's no way to Undo a Select Loop operation, right? So I have to manually de-select the stuff I didn't want selected. And there's no equivalent of Point Selection Sets for Edges, right? So I can't save my selection and revert to the last good one, right?

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 09:48 AM
Oh yeah, and if you accidentally click where you shouldn't have, and all of the selections you've been making for the last 15 minutes suddenly disappear, you have to start again from scratch, right?

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 10:04 AM
Actually I was talking about the UV Unwrap tool mentioned in the What's New in LW 9.5, but upon further inspection I can't find it.

Thanks for the info on PLG. I think I've got those plugins here somewhere. And as typical with anything to do with LW, when you need to so something you can only do it with a plugin. Geesh...

geothefaust
11-29-2008, 10:36 AM
Unfortunately the UV tools were not up to par, and they pulled them from the release. Which, yes it's true, but it was in the beta phase still, personally I think all it really needed was some bug squashing.

Until we get the new tools in some future release, PLG is pretty killer and meets most of my UV mapping needs.

You might also want to check out an Lscript called "island select" or the inverse of that. I can't quite remember. Someone referred it to me months ago, works great for selecting UV parts.

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 10:44 AM
Oh, you gotta be kidding me...

PLG has had those plugins for HOW LONG? And Newtek can't duplicate them?? I mean, we're talking basic UV Unwrapping here !! Geesh...

Anyway, thanks for the info.

IMI
11-29-2008, 10:48 AM
And there's no equivalent of Point Selection Sets for Edges, right? So I can't save my selection and revert to the last good one, right?

Actually there is. You can create a point selection set, select it in the Statistics panel and then go to Select>Select Edges and the edges associated with your points will then be selected.

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 10:49 AM
ARRGGHH !!! I finally find the PLG plugins, download them, and figure out how to use them (I think), and I jump back to Modeller and the edge selections I spent 20 minutes making (while holding my breath the whole time hoping I wouldn't click where I shouldn't and de-select everything) are GONE !!!!

I hate Lightwave. Really. I hate it.

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 10:52 AM
Actually there is. You can create a point selection set, select it in the Statistics panel and then go to Select>Select Edges and the edges associated with your points will then be selected.

Cool. Thanks for the info.

Leave it to LW to make everything as irrational and illogical as possible.

IMI
11-29-2008, 10:55 AM
Cool. Thanks for the info.

Leave it to LW to make everything as irrational and illogical as possible.

No problem.
That's just part of its charm. ;)

geothefaust
11-29-2008, 10:56 AM
..and I jump back to Modeller and the edge selections I spent 20 minutes making (while holding my breath the whole time hoping I wouldn't click where I shouldn't and de-select everything) are GONE !!!!




I hated that too, but there is a way to solve that. :)

Luckily PLG tools has a way that you can save your selection, it should be in the numerical panel. Just save out your file each time you make a big selection and viola! :)

Nicolas Jordan
11-29-2008, 10:56 AM
Just a tip that might help you if you are using the PLG "make uv edit" plugin. Make sure you uncheck "Hide Handle" under the numeric options so you can see the nodes in order to select the edges more easily.

geothefaust
11-29-2008, 10:58 AM
Just a tip that might help you if you are using the PLG "make uv edit" plugin. Make sure you uncheck "Hide Handle" under the numeric options so you can see the nodes in order to select the edges more easily.

Awesome tip, thanks for that!

SplineGod
11-29-2008, 11:03 AM
Oh, you gotta be kidding me...

PLG has had those plugins for HOW LONG? And Newtek can't duplicate them?? I mean, we're talking basic UV Unwrapping here !! Geesh...

Anyway, thanks for the info.

Believe me I feel your pain. A free one that works well is Road Kill.
I also tend to use the UV unwrapping in 3d coat.

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 11:50 AM
The PLG Make_UV_Edit plugin has me scratching my head. I select some edges on an object, where I want the unwrapping to take place. I run the plugin, hit the "n" key (numeric keypad), and the plugin panel comes up. I hit "Make UV" and nothing happens.

Then, with the edges still selected, I enter a path for Edge Data, do a Save Edge, then deselect the edges, then do a Load Edge, and none of the edges are selected. I then do a Make UV and again, nothing happens.

Anyone?

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 12:05 PM
Ah, apparently you have to make the selections with the plugin running...I guess it doesn't use the LW selection tools. Goody. And you have to be pretty accurate with the mouse. Gotta select inside those tiny guide circles.

So then how do you do the trick with selecting points as a selection set, then doing a Select Edges?

I'm getting a headache...

IMI
11-29-2008, 12:16 PM
So then how do you do the trick with selecting points as a selection set, then doing a Select Edges?


I don't think you can use a selection set with the Make UV plugin. I was just pointing that out for general purposes.

Don't forget though the "advance edge" button in the plugin, which will slowly creep along your edges and select them as it goes.

Personally, I gave all that up a while ago and don't even have the plg tools installed right now. I just use modo for UV mapping - much fewer headaches.

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 12:26 PM
And that's another thing I hate about plugins...

With the PLG, you now don't have access to stuff like Symmetry, so your selections take twice as long. And you can't lasso select. This is crazy...

IMI
11-29-2008, 12:30 PM
Well there are other ways to make UV maps in LW. You could always go Atlas and stitch it all together. Or, you can create a morph target and drag your object's point around into a shape more conducive to mapping such as planar or cylindrical, then create the map for your morphed object and morph it back into shape afterwards.
William Vaughn also created a cool UV mapping video trick somewhere in the archives here:
ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/w3dw/WV_LightwaveTraining.html

geothefaust
11-29-2008, 12:36 PM
Here's a trick I've been doing for a while... It's a pretty quick way of using the native tools and PLG together.

I create a temp surface out of all the polys, up to the edge where I want my seam to be, then with PLG, use the button that says something to the effect of "create seam from surfaces" or something like that. I can't verify it's name at the moment.

Then, save your edge selection with PLG. Rinse and repeat for each section, remembering to load each selection if you happen to deselect your seams, or you'll lose it if you save over it. Anyway, I'm not great at explaining things, so if this doesn't help or isn't apparent, let me know and I'll take some screen captures.

EDIT: I think the button in PLG is called Create Atlas from Surface.

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 12:58 PM
Okay, I think I did it correctly, selecting edges with the PLG running, but when I did "Make UV" it ran for a bit, then gave me a map that definitely does not correspond to the seams I had made.

Anyone?

geothefaust
11-29-2008, 01:03 PM
Hmm, got a screen shot?

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 01:20 PM
Yeah, here's what I've got...

As you can see from the upper right perspective view, I have edges selected all the way around the mesh, in order to give maps that are basically a front projection and a rear projection, with a cut around the waist. Bottom right is the resulting UV map. No idea where that came from. I de-selected "divide by surface" in case it was using making UV maps of each surface. Didn't help.

geothefaust
11-29-2008, 01:37 PM
The first thing that strikes me, is the leg area. You only have a partial seam on the inside of the leg, that's probably causing part of your problem for the leg area, it's trying to make one big map with the outside being the only seam. You'll get some distortion on the inside area with that setup. I'd put another seam along the whole inside leg area.

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 01:41 PM
Yeah, I just noticed that. I had a full seam all the way around, and thought I'd saved it all, but apparently not.

I think I'll run over to Hexagon and try it. It has a nice UV unwrapper built in...

geothefaust
11-29-2008, 02:07 PM
Yeah. :)

If you want to share your .lwo I can take a look at it when I get off work this evening.

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 02:23 PM
Thanks for the offer, but I'm finding Hexagon is MUCH nicer. It allows you to save your edge selections as you go along, and the Join and Loop operations seem to work more often. And the display highlights the selections much more visibly. And you can easily subtract selections as you go along.

IMI
11-29-2008, 02:27 PM
I'd just love to know how many people out there DO actually use Modeler for UV mapping anything more complex than a boxy shape.
Seems everyone uses either the plg tools or some other program. I remember when the plg UV tools came out - it was like the Second Coming of Christ or something. ;)

geothefaust
11-29-2008, 03:03 PM
Hexagon has got some neat tools, but that's really the extent of what it can do, neat stuff.

If you're looking for some serious tools, try out 3DCoat. It's great where LW is lacking.

IMI, I use PLG for all of my unwrapping needs. Once I purchase 3DCoat though, I think I'll end up using that until we get some serious UV tools in LW.

IMI
11-29-2008, 03:06 PM
IMI, I use PLG for all of my unwrapping needs. Once I purchase 3DCoat though, I think I'll end up using that until we get some serious UV tools in LW.

hrgiger here recently went to Headus UV Layout and turned me onto it in another thread. Since then I've seen several videos of it in use and it looks amazing. I'll more than likely be buying that after the holidays.

Sensei
11-29-2008, 03:06 PM
But there's no way to Undo a Select Loop operation, right? So I have to manually de-select the stuff I didn't want selected. And there's no equivalent of Point Selection Sets for Edges, right? So I can't save my selection and revert to the last good one, right?

You can store and restore, and undo, redo selection of points, edges or polygons, with our TrueArt's SelectionPresetManager..

Here is video of this toolset in action http://www2.trueart.pl/Products/Plug-Ins/SelectionPresetManager/Graphics/Movies/SelectionPresetManager_1.mov

It's available since January 2004..

IMI
11-29-2008, 03:11 PM
You can store and restore, and undo, redo selection of points, edges or polygons, with our TrueArt's SelectionPresetManager..



Does it come in 64 bit and can it be used with LW 9.5+?

Sensei
11-29-2008, 03:23 PM
32 bit Windows and Macintosh only. New version with edge support was only tested on LW v9.5 (older one without edge support where made on LW v6.x or so)..

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. But after using LW since the Amiga days, I've developed a rule of using as few plugins and external apps as possible. Too much of a pain. The thing I like about Hexagon is that it has a lot of very useful features built in, like the UV unwrapping, which seems to work first time, every time. And it's just easy to use. For example, it has an incredibly useful feature called "soft select" which feathers your selection to the surrounding mesh. You can almost get something kinda similar with LW with all the radial and other falloffs, but with LW it usually takes me a whole lot of time experimenting, and I usually don't get what I want.

I know some folks tend to view apps that the pros don't use as not very good, but I've pretty much given up using LW for anything, since even the non-pro apps are, IMO, superior for what I'm doing.

Though when I figure out what 3D Coat does I may decide to get it. Sounds like a little bit of ZBrush and a lot of good texturing tools??

IMI
11-29-2008, 04:00 PM
I know some folks tend to view apps that the pros don't use as not very good, but I've pretty much given up using LW for anything, since even the non-pro apps are, IMO, superior for what I'm doing.

Though when I figure out what 3D Coat does I may decide to get it. Sounds like a little bit of ZBrush and a lot of good texturing tools??

Hey, whatever works for you, that's what I figure. Hexagon is cheap. Even if you use it for nothing BUT UV mapping, it's still not a major hit in the wallet when the result is getting what you need.

3D Coat is kinda like ZBrush, I suppose. I haven't tried it, but the guy who made it is a long time L'waver and it supposedly has excellent support for LightWave, specifically. Unlike the others which require you to use .OBJ, you can use .lwo objects with 3D Coat.

mccabejc
11-29-2008, 07:48 PM
Wow, that UVLayout is insane. I watched a few of the videos at the website. Now there's someone with a better way to do things.

BTW, I just realized in Hexagon there's a UV Relax feature that uses a kind of variable airbrush tool. So where your UV maps are all bunched up and you want to spread them out, you select the tool, change the brush size and strength, and, just like an airbrush in Photoshop, you hover over the UV map and the points spread apart. A little like the automatic "bloat" feature in the UVLayout.

Very cool.

hrgiger
11-29-2008, 09:33 PM
Wow, that UVLayout is insane. I watched a few of the videos at the website. Now there's someone with a better way to do things.



Yeah, I really like UVlayout. Good support, I just used it for the first time the other day and there seems to be regular updates. No issues with it being a plug-in because it's a completely separate program. It uses the .obj format so as long as Lightwave continues to import and export .objs with UV data intact, there won't be any issues.
I find it a much more intuitive way of unwrapping your meshes and it has all the things you'd want with UV unwrapping and pelting and it's color visualization shows you where your mesh is pinched or stretched. Not only that but it's fun too. It's $300 for the professional version and totally worth it.

Mike_RB
11-30-2008, 12:21 AM
selections should really be in the undo stack.

SplineGod
11-30-2008, 09:32 AM
BTW Blender, which is free has some of the best UV tools Ive seen.

IMI
11-30-2008, 09:46 AM
selections should really be in the undo stack.

Damn, you're right! Why didn't I think of that?

So, where again is the undo stack in Modeler? I can't seem to find it. :D

MikeUnderwood
11-30-2008, 10:56 AM
mccabejc, just select your edges and make a selection set. It will convert those edges into a point selection set. You can then select that selection set which will select the points, then goto the top left hand corner in modeler and choose Select Edges. It will convert convert your point selection into edges.

PLG isn't that great, look at either Roadkill or Blender for free UV wrapping tools, UVLayout rocks if you can afford it. It's actually a shame they got rid of the 9.5 UV tools, they didn't have the most features, but they worked great for most everyday stuff.

GraphXs
11-30-2008, 08:44 PM
PLG is not that hard to use, It's faster then Max at doing "Pelt mapping" as far as selections/relaxing goes. You gotta use its selection (edges/Points) but it's nice that ya ca just select the first edge and move down to the last edge of that loop and it selects all inbetween. Also if ya break the modeling parts of your object (unweld or selection/cut/paste IE head/torso/legs/arm) the PLG will unwrap all the parts for you how ya want. After that, Relax, then merge" them back together, Done!:D

I haven't seen 3D coats UV, I am looking to purchase it soon. It does have some nive tools that Z-Brush doesn't have and is LW friendly.

geothefaust
11-30-2008, 08:47 PM
You don't even have to go that far, unwelding that is. You can just make new surfaces temporarily, that'll work too.

GraphXs
11-30-2008, 08:52 PM
I didn't know about the surfaces, nice! Just use LW selections for unwelding, and PLG for Unwrapping. :D

geothefaust
11-30-2008, 08:54 PM
Indeed. :)

I'm curious to see what NT has planned for the new tools once the release them again. Hope it's as good or better then PLG.

IMI
11-30-2008, 09:25 PM
Yeah, I really like UVlayout. Good support, I just used it for the first time the other day and there seems to be regular updates. No issues with it being a plug-in because it's a completely separate program. It uses the .obj format so as long as Lightwave continues to import and export .objs with UV data intact, there won't be any issues.
I find it a much more intuitive way of unwrapping your meshes and it has all the things you'd want with UV unwrapping and pelting and it's color visualization shows you where your mesh is pinched or stretched. Not only that but it's fun too. It's $300 for the professional version and totally worth it.


Well I've watched all the videos they have at the UV Layout site several time over because it impresses me so much. I'm definitely going to be buying it come January.
But man, it's just amazing the way UV Layout does what it does. I've seen a whole boatload of UV unwrapping videos of the process in all the major (and some minor) apps over the years, and nothing has impressed me like UV Layout has, including the PLG tools. And I hate to say it, but I'll be surprised if whatever they put in Modeler is even half as good as what modo already has.

I bought the Digital Tutors "Creating Digital Humans" series of video tutorials a while back hoping it would help me out with that whole idea. They use Maya throughout, and I knew that ahead of time of course, but alot of it can be transferred just fine to LW with a bit of thinking. The idea and the technique is essentially the same. Actually, it made me more aware of many things LW is lacking and could stand to have....
But my point is that the guy who taught the lessons (Justin- the same guy who does their ZBrush training, and is an excellent teacher) used UV Layout for the initial unwrapping instead of the mighty Maya. I don't know why it didn't strike me as overly impressive when I first saw it in action back then though.

But the videos on Headus' site are alot more detailed and UV Layout does exactly what I've always wished unwrapping was all about - I mean, it looks at a selection and flattens it, period. None of that guessing whether planar will be better or maybe cylindrical - it just gets all the petty details out of the way and gets on with it then refines it all. And it looks like you have an inordinate amount of control over every aspect of the process. I was particularly impressed with the demonstrations of pinning points to force constraints on what's being relaxed, in order to circumvent pinching and distortion of specific regions of the UV islands - that's just amazing.

And I have several meshes I can't wait to try it out on. ;)