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Thread: modeling a cell network ?

  1. #1
    geo messy madno's Avatar
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    modeling a cell network ?

    Hi,

    I modeled a kind of cell net structure. It was made using box modeling and sub-d:
    A sphere -> extruding a polygon -> connecting to next sphere -> copy / pasting those -> rotating moving them -> connecting again -> and so on and so forth. It took ages.

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    Can you recomment a workflow that allows to create such kind of structure faster and even makes it dynamic for later design changes?
    With my box modeling aproach I shot myself in the knee, because I can't change the net layout without starting from scratch more or less.

    I am hoping for a way to only make connection lines and knots in Modeler. In Layout then they should become the final organic net shape. In a perfect world it would be possible to move a knot in Layout and the connections to the other knots follow this dynamically.

    I am thinking about something with lines, curves or so in Modeler and then Hypervoxels in Layout. But I don't know how to start. There are splines, curves, two point polys and what not.

    Maybe somebody knows a tutorial for such kind of stuff. Free or commercial ones would be fine.

    It is for something like the imeage below (I know, does not look so good, but have not tried much with volumetrics).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Forgot to say, not yet thinking about animation (no time watch the RHA videos).

  2. #2
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    Cody did a tutorial on EXACTLY this effect, it's on the LW3dG website.

    I did a riff on his tutorial, allowing exact controllable placement of the nodes, using bones. I think it's on here somewhere, Search on "sparse network".
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  3. #3
    Vacant, pretty vacant pinkmouse's Avatar
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    And my version, using a method very similar to Cody's, though I hadn't seen his tute when I did it:

    Al
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  4. #4
    Man of many cells. shrox's Avatar
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    I did something similar using bones at each "node" for an animation, this would lend itself to changes later too.
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  5. #5
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkmouse View Post
    And my version, using a method very similar to Cody's, though I hadn't seen his tute when I did it:
    Yours looks a thousand times more interesting than mine due to interesting surfaces..... I h8 U.

    +++++++++
    Quote Originally Posted by shrox View Post
    I did something similar using bones at each "node" for an animation, this would lend itself to changes later too.
    Same here: Cody's technique is a good starting place, but INEVITABLY some g.d. art director is going to demand a node hit a specific screen location, and IIRC his was not amenable to such control. Might as well build the control in at the start.
    Last edited by jeric_synergy; 01-24-2015 at 05:07 PM.
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
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  6. #6
    Vacant, pretty vacant pinkmouse's Avatar
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    There you go Madno, lots of ideas to try!

    JS, it's amazing what you can do with EEGritnode.
    Al
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  7. #7
    geo messy madno's Avatar
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    Thanks guys,

    to jeric,
    I found the link to your tut (https://vimeo.com/97086056), but it says the video is not available. Maybe you have another link?

  8. #8
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    Huh, don't know what happened there (do Vimeos evaporate??), but believe me, Pinkmouse's is both pretty much the same and far better at the same time.

    FWIW, here's a Package that should work: Network.zip
    Last edited by jeric_synergy; 01-25-2015 at 09:48 AM.
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
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  9. #9
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    cody´s tutorial is nice, but I would like to point out a little faster workflow in the beginning, it isn´t necessary to paste the edges on another layer, then having to go back to the first layer and delete that, then having to go to the second layer and cut it and then back to the first layer in order to paste it on to the first layer.....that is a lot of unnecessary steps.

    It should be enough to just copy the geometry in edge mode, then directly delete the geometry and paste in the edges in the same layer.

  10. #10
    geo messy madno's Avatar
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    Working on it now. Jeric, thanks for the scene.

  11. #11
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    If you don't mind kind of funky edges, you can generate a node network very quickly by jittering (J) a sudivided tesellated sphere, copy & paste the edges (deleting the polys), then use PointClonePlus to clone node objects and bones (skelegons) for each node. To "thicken" the edges, they can be Extruded (E) three separate times, once in X, then in Y, then in Z. As I said, the edge geometry is a little wierd, but it subpatches OK, and adds some interesting effects if you use FastFresnel, EdgeTransparency, or other edge-highlighting surface shaders.


    mTp
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  12. #12
    geo messy madno's Avatar
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    Hi thanks for this tip.

    I tried everything mentioned here. It worked.

    But the final goal was, to create the organic look of the structure.
    There I failed. I could not find a way to keep the single points connected via lines and give that an organic look. I tried with Hypervoxels but got only bad results. There might be new threads from me asking how this can be done in LW (or what other software I should use instead). Hope you don't mind.

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    The missing "see through refraction" is on purpose but I am not happy with the hard sun reflection. Need to change that.

  13. #13
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    I'm not sure what you mean by "organic", but you might just play with bump map, textured displacement maps (or enable bump on the displacement page), and jitter your model a bit. You can reduce the hard sun reflection by reducing the specularity or glossiness. A good place to start might be to get into the Surface Editor (F5), select the surface for your network, press F8 to bring up the presets page, pull down the Built-in menu to select the Organic types, and load up some of the presets to see if any of them meet your needs (e.g. tongue, lizard skin, etc.). Then, look at the parameters on the Surface editor to see how ones that you like are done (be sure to look in the Shaders tab for advanced shaders).

    As you probably know, VPR doesn't show all the shaders, so you'll want to do a render to see what the presets actually look like.

    mTp

  14. #14
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    For example, here's a quicky node network with a modification of the Tongue preset.

    mTp
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  15. #15
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonroePoteet View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by "organic",
    Post #12 includes a photo.

    The original technique is aimed at a mechanical look, tinker-toy style. To preserve the soft chamfers/fillets (I can never remember which is which) in the example jpg, I think you could use the same concepts BUT all displacement distortion would be done with Bones. My technique eventually uses Bones to achieve precise location of individual nodes, so maybe it'll still work here (I really don't remember).

    I usually obsess a bit more than I should over bone influence, so give it a shot with just the default influences-- they almost always work better than I expect them to.
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

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