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Thread: can Mudbox morphs be used in Lightwave?

  1. #1
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    can Mudbox morphs be used in Lightwave?

    I watched a great video on creating facial morphs in Mudbox.

    Can they be used in Lightwave (like you'd be able to use morphs created in 3D Coat)?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    luxowaver silviotoledo's Avatar
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    I didn't see it but sure you can.

    Anyway, try MODO, is saves as LWO and also sculpt nice morphs!
    Silvio Toledo
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    Dance Commander WCameron's Avatar
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    Worst case scenario is do it the old way. make your morphs seperate layers in Mudbox (keep the ame subdivision level as your base mesh though) and export the layers as seperate objects, then in Modeler use the Background_to_morph plugin on a background layer. as long as the point order and Object Size stays the same it should work
    .
    - Will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by silviotoledo View Post
    I didn't see it but sure you can.

    Anyway, try MODO, is saves as LWO and also sculpt nice morphs!
    I hadn't thought of Modo. Are it's sculpt tools powerful - and you can create LW morhs? I need to install 501 anyway, I really haven't used Modo much.

    Quote Originally Posted by WCameron View Post
    Worst case scenario is do it the old way. make your morphs seperate layers in Mudbox (keep the ame subdivision level as your base mesh though) and export the layers as seperate objects, then in Modeler use the Background_to_morph plugin on a background layer. as long as the point order and Object Size stays the same it should work
    .
    - Will.
    For use with Mudbox, that's basically the conclusion I came to. I'll have to come up with some workflow (as it would be nice to just deal with the head).

    The last time I'd animated a character (I'm very much at the beginner level), the character was all on one layer, with other layers for eyes, clothing, etc. - so I'll have to test whether I can just bring in the head OBJ and create a morph from it in LW when using the head and body together (must there be a one-to-one correspondence of points, as the body points would be missing)?

    This tool http://www.greenbriarstudio.com/3D/loadobjmorph.htm might also be useful? I sent the developer a message as I own his CR2 Loader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    My characters have the body in layer1, head in layer2, eyes in layers 3 & 4. That way you could bring your head (only) into TAFA, create your lipsync and then load that mdd file into your head object in Layout. This system worked perfectly for me while creating my 22 minute short with quite a few characters.


    You don't really need this tool for use in LW. If you're using Poser, you just export your (for example) head only as the BASE mesh. Then make your morphs in Poser exporting each one individually as OBJ files. Then you can load them into LW and use the reliable Background-to-morph procedure. This is how I did the morphs for all of my characters.
    Are you saying you use Mudbox and have parts of the object in different layers in Mudbox, and create morphs in Mudbox that you can bring into Lightwave in some fashion?

    That's one of the main things I"m trying to figure out, the most powerful app to create morphs (for Lightwave) in. Mudbox seems very powerful, but I'm going to take a look at Modo 501's sculpting also, as I have that also.

    It would be great if someone who's created morphs in either of those two programs had a workflow - or a better solution that I haven't thought of!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    I know less than nothing about Mudbox. But as others here have said, there are ways to create the morphs in Mudbox and add them in Layout. Just give it a try and see if it works for one morph. If it works for one, it'll work for the rest. Just make sure that when in LW Layout, you ALWAYS start with the base object and add the new morph target to that.

    When I'm talking about Layers - I'm talking about Layers in LW.
    OK - put the head on it's own layer. That's useful info. Thanks!

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    Dance Commander WCameron's Avatar
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    Basically the workflow would be something like this: if your making Face/Head morphs, detach the head from the rest of the mesh and save it out as its own layer in OBJ format AND LWO format. Load the OBJ into Mudbox. One important thing to note is you cant up the subdivision level so you can only 'sculpt' at the level of the base mesh because it will change point order (actually it'll add MORE points).
    So off the base mesh, you create a new Sculpt layer and on that layer you sculpt out a Snear or whatever. Save out that layer only as an OBJ file.
    Over in Modeler, load the LWO of the base head in, then the OBJ of the Snear into a separate layer and use the Bkg_to_morph plugin. then you can replace the head on your main character with the new one with the added morph. Rinse, apply shampoo, lather, repeat.
    I'd suggest only doing one or two morphs at a time - given lightwaves somewhat weird habit of crashing when the wind blows upwards on a friday afternoon in downtown boston. or something.

    This is how I've done it in the past, which I think was on Lightwave 9 and I forget what Mudbox version.

    You can build your morphs in Modo as well, in fact Modo's toolset is a lot better
    for it than Lightwave and you can do it natively on LWO files without having to worry about point order and copying this over to that.
    Dunno how the multiMeshResolution stuff in Modo works ATM but I'm sure theres a way to get it back into Lightwave.

    - Will.
    "All those with Psychokinesis, raise my hand."
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCameron View Post
    Basically the workflow would be something like this: if your making Face/Head morphs, detach the head from the rest of the mesh and save it out as its own layer in OBJ format AND LWO format. Load the OBJ into Mudbox. One important thing to note is you cant up the subdivision level so you can only 'sculpt' at the level of the base mesh because it will change point order (actually it'll add MORE points).
    So off the base mesh, you create a new Sculpt layer and on that layer you sculpt out a Snear or whatever. Save out that layer only as an OBJ file.
    Over in Modeler, load the LWO of the base head in, then the OBJ of the Snear into a separate layer and use the Bkg_to_morph plugin. then you can replace the head on your main character with the new one with the added morph. Rinse, apply shampoo, lather, repeat.
    I'd suggest only doing one or two morphs at a time - given lightwaves somewhat weird habit of crashing when the wind blows upwards on a friday afternoon in downtown boston. or something.

    This is how I've done it in the past, which I think was on Lightwave 9 and I forget what Mudbox version.

    You can build your morphs in Modo as well, in fact Modo's toolset is a lot better
    for it than Lightwave and you can do it natively on LWO files without having to worry about point order and copying this over to that.
    Dunno how the multiMeshResolution stuff in Modo works ATM but I'm sure theres a way to get it back into Lightwave.

    - Will.
    Will - thanks! I've been working in other areas, and now I'll know that it can be done. Very hard to figure out a decent workflow!

    As I may need more resolution for the morphs, I suppose I could export the base head from Mudbox with an increased subdivision level (so all the morphs would match the base head), and it could (hopefully) be a different mesh resolution in Lightwave (without problems) from the other parts of the body as it would be on its own layer?

    I wish I could do it all in 3D Coat, but its sculpt tools are a bit limited, and I'm finding out some strange things about how it exports to LWO (it's not using the retopologized mesh, it's generating its own mesh for Export Model to LWO, which kind of defeats the purpose of creating a mesh to begin with).

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Dance Commander WCameron's Avatar
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    In the final stage, once you have your head with all the morphs added onto it, you can cut and past it so that your entire character is on one layer. Not really to important but tends to work better for skeletal animation if you doing rigging/mocap etc.

    The thing with obj format is there can be some glitches with materials and uvdata and stuff. theres a MTL importer and exporter (Mike Green's maybe?!?) which can help, and I've read there are some improvements in the LW10 importers/exporters so it may not even be an issue now... but anyways, I'd suggest this: Save a few different versions of your head from Lightwave at different subdivision resolutions. if you can do that and use that in Mudbox I think it will make less potential problems...

    Its been a long time since I did this stuff though and Mudbox has lept forward in leaps and bounds.
    I think I'll have some time this weekend to mess with them both and might be able to provide more specific details for you.

    The other way is just to use the base head with upped subdivision levels out of Mudbox and substitute that for your original in Lightwave. Might have to do some Copy and Paste retexturing but otherwise that would work too.

    - Will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCameron View Post
    In the final stage, once you have your head with all the morphs added onto it, you can cut and past it so that your entire character is on one layer. Not really to important but tends to work better for skeletal animation if you doing rigging/mocap etc.

    The thing with obj format is there can be some glitches with materials and uvdata and stuff. theres a MTL importer and exporter (Mike Green's maybe?!?) which can help, and I've read there are some improvements in the LW10 importers/exporters so it may not even be an issue now... but anyways, I'd suggest this: Save a few different versions of your head from Lightwave at different subdivision resolutions. if you can do that and use that in Mudbox I think it will make less potential problems...

    Its been a long time since I did this stuff though and Mudbox has lept forward in leaps and bounds.
    I think I'll have some time this weekend to mess with them both and might be able to provide more specific details for you.

    The other way is just to use the base head with upped subdivision levels out of Mudbox and substitute that for your original in Lightwave. Might have to do some Copy and Paste retexturing but otherwise that would work too.

    - Will.
    How would I stitch the much denser head back onto the less dense body?

    I had an artist create this model for me, but I've got to create the morphs, surface and animate it.

    Figuring out where to put the breast plate (same layer as model, or parented) is something I've been thinking about.

    Probably go with RHiggit Pro when 10.1 comes out, if the FBX changes in 10.1 are an improvement and workable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    What problems have you discovered having the head in a separate layer? I've not discovered any with the characters I've used in my short. Having the head in a separate layer AFAIK didn't affect the skeletal/rigging at all.
    I'd love to hear any thoughts you'd have on how to setup this model for animation. I have most parts broken out in layers.

    I've also got to do some texturing, as the textures setup in 3D Coat have pretty much gotten lost (issues with exporting to LWO which I'm hopefully going to get resolved. If 3D Coat just had a few changes, it would have perfect LW integration, so I'm hopeful.)

    And the eyes are just a round disc of polys in the center of an oblong 'eye', not real eyes at the moment (with UV maps).

    The 'live' in their rather oblong eye sockets beneath the oblong eye lids.

    Something I've got to think about at some point for close ups!
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  11. #11
    Dance Commander WCameron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    What problems have you discovered having the head in a separate layer? I've not discovered any with the characters I've used in my short. Having the head in a separate layer AFAIK didn't affect the skeletal/rigging at all.

    I actually can't recall anything specific, but for the most part thats just how I tend to work.

    - Will.
    "All those with Psychokinesis, raise my hand."
    - The Doctor.
    The Room With No Doors
    by Kate Orman.

  12. #12
    Dance Commander WCameron's Avatar
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    >> How would I stitch the much denser head back onto the less dense body? <<


    Although it could be done, it'd be a bit of a pain and could produce render errors (probably Pinching where you'd be welding verts...)
    In the case of the character I'm messing with nowm the head is a seperate object with the neck disappearing into the collar of the characters clothing.
    Depending on the character itself, and the scene (lighting, radiosity, textures etc), you might just have to ramp up the subD level on the whole
    character...


    >> I had an artist create this model for me, but I've got to create the morphs, surface and animate it. <<

    What kind of morphs specifically are you talking about. For the most part
    I'm thinking the basic stuff like Blinking, smiling, mouth phoneme shapes stuff like that.

    >> Figuring out where to put the breast plate (same layer as model, or parented) is something I've been thinking about. <<

    I doubt it'd be a problem either way. I guess it might come down to
    Scene Managment in the end.

    >> Probably go with RHiggit Pro when 10.1 comes out, if the FBX changes in 10.1 are an improvement and workable. <<

    That is a sweet looking little program. I think thats my Christmas present this year to myself. heh. (only 8 months to go! )

    I think I got a little time today to mess with this stuff. I'm hoping mudbox 2012 is up on the Autodesk Education site so I can try that!
    Will try and post more later tonight...

    - Will.
    "All those with Psychokinesis, raise my hand."
    - The Doctor.
    The Room With No Doors
    by Kate Orman.

  13. #13
    Dance Commander WCameron's Avatar
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    You might just want to go with Modo. after 20 minutes of messing with LW 9.6 and 10, with Mudbox 2011 - its just not working. i think I'm going to have to dig through my notebooks and see if I made any notes on exactly what I did way back when.

    - Will.
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  14. #14
    Dance Commander WCameron's Avatar
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    Interesting. Lightwave borks it no matter what i try.
    Modo works fine with the above workflow (on the lightwave exported files no less)
    right out the gate.
    Since this isnt a Modo forum, I wont go into details here. 3dWannabe if you want we can go to Private Messages. Basically you just substitute Modo for Lightwave in the little workflow post above.

    Lightwave is either rewriting the point order of the OBJ files on import, or the bkg to morph plugin is at fault...

    - Will.
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  15. #15
    Dance Commander WCameron's Avatar
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    Sorry, you'll have to forgive me, I sometimes get like this. when a problem presents itself, I keep working at it trying different things, sometimes weird things. It doesn't help that I've had a really bad physical day at my day job and haven't had much sleep (insomniac here). That and my sense of time is generally shot anyways.

    But onward and upward. On a 1 to 1 conversion (ie, no added polygon divisions in mudbox, straight mesh to mesh) the process works with LIGHTWAVE 8.5 - which I think is what I used way back when. And now I'm sad because i lost all that stuff on the first ever Hard Drive death that drove me to consider attacking a large violent mob of people with a loaf of french bread (have you ever been so mad....). I think that means this may have been in a version of Mudbox when it was still owned by Skymatter?
    ehem, anyways.
    It adds horrendously to the workflow, but it is possible. You would have to export out
    of lightwave (9, 10 whatever back to 8 i think would work) as obj. do all your magic in Mudbox. reload your base LWO mesh into 8.5, load the OBJ morphs into seperate layers and use the bkg to morph plugin on them, save out your new LWO with all your ultra fat morphs added on, then back into 9.6 or 10 for animating etc. Not TOO bad considering how wonky some workflows can be.
    Now that I know what works, I will begin messing with hit, and the most important thing is I'm going to go completely insane and swap bits and pieces from 8 into 9.6 (plugin wise) and see what explodes and doesn't. if nothing else I may be able to narrow down the issue (Best Guess is the Plugin bkg to morph got broken).

    More later (cause it looks like I ain't napping....

    - Will.
    Be prepared for an entire page of wibbling! maybe even 2 pages!
    "All those with Psychokinesis, raise my hand."
    - The Doctor.
    The Room With No Doors
    by Kate Orman.

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