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Thread: Import Curves - Modeler

  1. #1
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    Import Curves - Modeler

    Is it at all possible to import curves from another package without LW polygonising them and joining them up?

    I've tried in vain for ages , different geometry import formats and LW just joins the bloody curves up into a polygon. It creates an edge from the end vertex to the original start vertex and creates a polygon face, I don't want this. I want a curve and curve only.

    MODO can import these curves in an alembic format but LW Modeler can't import .abc models. If I export out of Modo I get same result too. Annoyed, even Poser can import a bloody curve as it is.
    Last edited by Luc_Feri; 11-10-2015 at 09:33 AM.
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  2. #2
    someone may answer better but I feel only solution is K to kill polygons and then reselect in order an make open curve, I can export ZBrush curves to Modo for use with fur but not to LW..............well now just checked to make sure and ZBrush curves load just fine shows how long it base been since I did this, I'm in LW 2015, think it is or was case with older versions of LW but not now

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    Yeah I don't want to use ZBrush for creating my curves for hair as I prefer a different package for the styling tools. I couldn't kill the polygons because I have over 90,000 curves.
    I convert these curves using strand tool because Octane can render them nicely.

    Thanks for your input. If I try to load my curves into Zbrush it fails to load. I loaded the curves in .abc format into MODO and then GOZ'd them but ZBrush just polygonised the curves like LW does, AHHHHH!!

    MODO can render the curves fine, I can even smooth them out further for a better look but MODO renderer dog slow when you have Octane. Jesus I've so many tools and still find roadblocks, one day I'll find a pipeline to put everything together.
    Last edited by Luc_Feri; 11-10-2015 at 10:02 AM.
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  4. #4
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    FWIW, I've been able to import spline curves from ZBrush and Modo to Modeler and they maintain their curve properties.

    What's the other package you're exporting from? Can it export FBX?

    G.

  5. #5
    maybe you hit an import limit in LW but hard to see why, firstly I use the export curve prevue in ZBrush and limit what I export to something manageable but pretty certain 100K is reasonable and second I export as LWO not LXO whether I am taking them to Modo or LW as LXO puts every spline on a separate layer where as LWO puts them all on the one layer, the bottom line is I have live editable curves no matter

  6. #6
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    I can export fiber mesh curves too no problem, but that is not what I am seeking in this instance.

    Sometimes when using twists and curls on the fibers from ZBrush the stand tool makes a weird mess of the conversion in Modeler. I convert them to 2 point polys to render them in Octane and you can apply bullet to them as well.

    It is not a limit. I get the same result on one curve as I do thousands.

    I'm using Houdini which IMO has much better hair styling tools and I have a more none destructive workflow to make ammends and go back. I can resample curve segments into more/less points, add smooth modifiers, change curve type and loads of stuff to make more interesting hair styles, a better back and forth method.

    This is a current WIP test inside Houdini. I have much more control over curves in Houdini and smoother results, if only LW could import curves as they are. I've tried polygonal curve export, Nurbs and subdivision curves and every combo of geometry export to no avail. Only Modo can read these curves from an alembic file as far as I can see, but MODO will choke on render time compared to Octane and the dynamics would suck.

    Octane has no problem with this amount of curves at all, on tighter cuts you can get away with the extra edge created by import into LW but on straighter hair it gets ruined with the extra edge which looks like a bow and arrow shape at render.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Luc_Feri; 11-10-2015 at 02:47 PM.
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  7. #7
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Yeah, that sounds odd to me too.

    It does remind me of a job I was on at Rhythm & Hues. I was using FiberFX for several characters and needed animated hair guides, and the dynamics artists and programmers in Features was helping me out. However, when I submitted my files to them, I learned that the studio's proprietary system did not recognize LightWave's 2-point polygon chains and I had to provide them polygonal 'blades' as described by Luc_Feri.

    Luckily, I found a plugin that converted my hair guide chains to 'blades' and it preserved the point order between my work and what Features was doing for us. Then, when I got back the blades with animation from Features, I used them with FX_Metalink to animate the original guides, and I baked out a new MDD for only the original 2-point polygon guides to keep my final setups clean and simple. Something like that anyways...it was several years ago so I'm not 100% certain of all the details on that process. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the plugin I used to generate that data from my guide chains...but I'm getting a bit OT now anyway.

    Edit: It might have been called Hair Blades. Still not certain about that.

    I seem to recall using another script that could generate curves from 'blades' though. I just ran it and entered the number of points in each guide. When the script was done, I just killed the polygons, which left the curves. That would have been many years ago and I don't remember what that tool was, but it might be worth a search. I'm not the one to do it but I imagine creating a script that does this should be fairly easy, assuming the blades were constructed with consistency.

    G.

  8. #8
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    Yeah Greenlaw, that is exactly it, I need to kill the blades to leave the curves.

    These are the simple things that can kill a workflow, I have demo'd some really nice hair styling in Houdini, this is killing me right now as ZBrush just isn't as flexible when visually experimenting on the guide curves.
    Last edited by Luc_Feri; 11-10-2015 at 03:00 PM.
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  9. #9
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    AHHHHHHHHHHHH, JESUS.

    Greenlaw. I have worked out how to convert the polygonal blade to a curve with the current Modeler toolset but it will not work on multiple curves as far as I can see.
    I'm always 100% right!!!

  10. #10
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    To convert a polygonal blade inside of Modeler.

    First load up curve which look like a blade.

    Then select it in polygon mode.

    Then convert to a point selection.

    Then convert to open curve.

    Then you will have the blade polygon and the new curve. In polygon mode you will have 1 polygon and 1 curve, just select the polygon face from statistics panel and delete it leaving you with the curve.


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    Last edited by Luc_Feri; 11-10-2015 at 03:36 PM.
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  11. #11
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    That's probably what the script did. The additional feature was that the user described how many points were in a single blade and the script made its selections based on the point order of the entire object, and then it just repeated the process until it ran out of points in that layer. Sorry I don't have more information about the script. If I have time later, I'll see if I can track it down.

    G.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenlaw View Post
    That's probably what the script did. The additional feature was that the user described how many points were in a single blade and the script made its selections based on the point order of the entire object, and then it just repeated the process until it ran out of points in that layer. Sorry I don't have more information about the script. If I have time later, I'll see if I can track it down.

    G.
    Cheers Mate.

    What happens currently on multiple curves is that it a) reaches a ceiling of a maximum curve segments around 1000 and b) it actually joins all the points into one giant curve!!!
    I'm always 100% right!!!

  13. #13
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Yes, it would need to make the initial selection based on the number of points for the first guide in the point order, run the process, and then incrementally make then next selection, and repeat until finished. Otherwise, it's just going to create one huge curve.

    I'm not sure but the curve limit might be editable in the configs--I know the object limit is for Layout anyway. But that's not going to help in this situation.

    Will let you know if I find that script.

    G.

  14. #14
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    Cool mate, I'd owe you massively if that turned up. Until then I'll continue to pull my own hair out.
    I'm always 100% right!!!

  15. #15
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    You can't use this in any way, can you?
    http://artstorm.net/plugins/ase-spline-import/

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