View Full Version : Tool to "expand" a mesh into another?

12-29-2008, 12:45 PM
I have a VERY dense mesh generated from a volume scanner, all triangles.

I was wondering if there is a tool or plugin for my Lightwave 9.5 that would let me place a second mesh inside the dense one, and then "blow it up like a balloon" to fill the space.

Kind of like injection molding.

Has anyone here done that? Is there a tool?

Any tips on how to do it well?


12-29-2008, 01:12 PM
is the objective to create a low poly version of the existing mesh? or to animate the expansion of the interior mesh?

12-29-2008, 01:26 PM

Thanks. The objective is to simplify the mesh into quads and use sub patching for the curves instead of 180,000 tiny polygons.

I don't need to animate the expansion.

I have tried simplifying the mesh with MeshLab, but it's not a very well-connected set of polys and it breaks up.

That's why I though about the "injection molding" technique.

As a last resort, I can "build" a simpler mesh on another layer using the dense mesh as a "guide". I have tried that sort of thing before, and it gets pretty tedious, though.

12-29-2008, 01:31 PM
hmm well you might try using something like the 3D-Coat plug-in. I have not personally used it but I think it has the ability to lay polygons over an existing mesh.

12-29-2008, 01:41 PM

Sensei has a retopology tool that you can use but 3d Coat http://www.3d-coat.com/ might be a better value for the money.

Another alternative for retopologizing would be Silo: www.nevercenter.com

12-29-2008, 01:44 PM
You can also use Merge Trigons X (here (http://www.flay.com/GetDetail.cfm?ID=1394)) to merge the triangles into quads. It will probably be rather slow on a large object, but it does work. Or at least, did as of the last couple builds - haven't actually tried it in the very recent past. But, it's free.

12-29-2008, 01:48 PM
or try out zbrush and it's retopology tools...you could try the free 30day demo of zbrush can handle a HUGE amount of polys btw.

re topologise your mesh then export/save as an obj.

12-30-2008, 12:04 AM
I realise that rebuilding the mesh by hand can be tedious. However, you should take the mesh and break it up into smaller pieces. This way, you will get an easier view of your mesh when reconstructing it. Plus, you won't have to invest in a plugin or extra program which is good if you can't really afford one at this present time.

The other thing you could try is to use a plugin called BG conform Plus which is similar to LW's native BG conform tool but it allows you to conform to a percentage like 75% instead of just 100%. The drawback is that it conforms points to points which means you could end up with overlapping points. Still, you can 'sort of' avoid this with BG conform plus and you can do the rest manually.

Good luck and I hope it works out for you.