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Thread: absolute morphs

  1. #1
    all feathered up kattkieru's Avatar
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    absolute morphs

    Hi folks,

    I don't know what to call this (I learn one small thing about LW every month, the way my time is running), but I figure LW should be able to do it:

    I know how to do regular morph maps, but is there a way to store morph maps in an external model, so that I could rig one model and use it to drive deformation on a second, identical model? This way multiple rig systems could be used to create a final deformation.

    It seems like the kind of thing LW could do but I'm bad with the terminology and I haven't been able to turn up a tutorial on what I'm looking for. Sorry for such a noobish question, especially after so long with the software!
    ~ C

  2. #2
    Super Member SplineGod's Avatar
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    If both models have the same endomorphs you can save the morphmix project from one model and apply it to the other.

  3. #3
    I think I know what you're referring to.

    Using another identical mesh as a live input for a morph target, as you can do in Maya and XSI etc..

    The answer to that is no. Morphs in Lightwave are simple static morphs .
    http://www.newtek.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=18493&dateline=130857  4707

  4. #4
    maybe with a metacage?
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  5. #5
    all feathered up kattkieru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pooby View Post
    I think I know what you're referring to.

    Using another identical mesh as a live input for a morph target, as you can do in Maya and XSI etc..

    The answer to that is no. Morphs in Lightwave are simple static morphs .
    Ahh cool, that's what I wanted to know. Thanks!

    @erikals I think the metacage is more like lattices or the mesh deformer, which would be great for certain things, but so far in LW I've found that to solve those kinds of problems the HardFX Linker works better than anything I've got in any other package. That said, metacage might work for some things, and I'll give it a look.

    @splinegod This was actually a question about creating a new, live morph on a model using another model with identical point numbering, as Pooby suggested.

    Thanks all!

  6. #6
    all feathered up kattkieru's Avatar
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    Ha! Pooby, you're awesome. When I saw your avatar I wondered if you had a hand in the Blue Hippy Cats vid, so I checked your past threads and you seem to have solved what I want to do with the DP Kit:

    http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66922

    Using the MDD node isn't a perfect solution but with a bit of extra work on top it'll do exactly what I need it to do. It's a shame there isn't a per-frame MDD writer as well; then it'd be a 100% live morph system.

  7. #7
    Thanks..
    I'd forgotten I did that. It was around the time I switched fully to XSI for animation so I never really pursued it.
    I'm glad you are, because it really does open a lot of creative deformation options in Lightwave. Not the best workflow maybe, but the fact that you can stack deformations AT ALL is great for LW.
    http://www.newtek.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=18493&dateline=130857  4707

  8. #8
    Stuff
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    Can't FX Linker do something like this?
    Andrewstopheles

  9. #9
    certainly not
    http://www.newtek.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=18493&dateline=130857  4707

  10. #10
    all feathered up kattkieru's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm just playing around, seeing what's possible. I got the Rebel Hill rigging DVD to get the basics down. While I get paid for Maya, C4D, and Blender, I've worked really hard to make my rigs cross-platform. So far, most of the things I do in other packages transfer just fine to Lightwave, with a few exceptions. Thank god they added pole vector objects; they're incredibly necessary. Also the multithreaded deformation handling.

    I'm actually quite curious to see how hard it would be to write an absolute morph deformer either as an object deformer or as a displacement node; it's just a matter of setting vert positions in world space or local space, possibly effected by a weight map.

    One of the guys at work and I have been chatting a lot about rigs. A lot of folks are starting to build rigs in-scene to allow animators to choose the kind of control functionality they want. The end goal for all this is to maybe get some LScripts working that help me build somewhat complex rigs in-scene, which would get around the need to reference in LW. But at the speed I'm going I probably won't get there before CORE 3.0 hits. LScript examples are all over but LScripts that show rigging workflow are harder to come by, as are open LW SDK sources.

  11. #11
    all feathered up kattkieru's Avatar
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    Damn, this is too much fun.

    Looks like the Intertia plugin in the LWSDK gets me 3/4 of the way there... and now I'm out of time. But the SDK is pretty straightforward. I did something similar in C4D only it used the motion of the points frame-to-frame to blend off a smear effect based on the dot product of the points to the flipped motion vector. (Got the idea from the pidgeon impossible guy: http://www.pigeonimpossible.com/blog/?p=165).

  12. #12
    I'm actually quite curious to see how hard it would be to write an absolute morph deformer either as an object deformer or as a displacement node; it's just a matter of setting vert positions in world space or local space, possibly effected by a weight map.
    I would have thought it would be relatively straightforward to write a plugin to have one object conform to the shape of another of identical topology. If it were a node, then that would be very useful.

    However, from past experience, these things SEEM simple and logical, but LW usually throws up some internal spanner in the works that dis-allows it to happen.
    http://www.newtek.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=18493&dateline=130857  4707

  13. #13
    all feathered up kattkieru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pooby View Post
    However, from past experience, these things SEEM simple and logical, but LW usually throws up some internal spanner in the works that dis-allows it to happen.
    Heh... I get that. For me this is just a hobby; LW was one of my first CG loves so I keep coming back to her. Especially since as of 9.6 all the issues I had on the Mac side got squashed, and I hate booting into Windows just to run a simulation.

    Right now, the only thing that might keep it from working would be order of operations. I don't know if there's a way to get a certain mesh in the scene to calculate all its deformations before another. I don't even really understand how LW's scene graph works; it seems to be like a DAG, but also sometimes behaves in ways I don't expect. I think I need to sit down and rig out a full character body to get a handle on how that all works.

    As a node it would be extremely useful, I agree, but you'd want the node to be able to get the post-bone state of a mesh when the mesh the node is on is still at displacement?

    If any of the NT programmers are reading, please let me know where the spanner will be so I can play with another toy or find a way to pull the spanner out. ^_^

  14. #14
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    doesn't background to morph sort of do this? I know it's possible to use that to make obj files from other programs like Daz Studio turn in to LW morphs... a loooong time ago there used to be a LW to Max freebie program I found online somewhere that did something sort of similar to what you are talking about in that it took LW animations, including morphs and exported them to 3ds Max, but I don't think that's free anymore, and I don't even think it exists any more... Might be possible to write some sort of script? FBX file format does some of this type of stuff maybe?
    Last edited by meshmaster; 06-15-2010 at 07:03 AM.
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  15. #15
    Workflow - A friend told me that workflow for this is to build a base mesh, with weightmaps and so on, and then, transform the base mesh. thats not the same, but could solve some issues.

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