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Thread: Fiber FX - tips and tricks

  1. #1
    Living over there... MAUROCOR's Avatar
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    Fiber FX - tips and tricks

    Hello everybody.

    Some people asked me to create some video tutorial to show how I use the FiberFX tool, so I had some time and created something more like a "tips and tricks".
    It is my first one, not perfect but may it helps some of you guys. Thanks!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_zzwauzVF0&t=501s
    Ground control to Major Tom

  2. #2
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Thanks Mauro. Will save for a look a bit later on.
    "Never be a cat in a cartoon. Never." Chief Wiggum

  3. #3
    Very good info Mauro! Thanks for your efforts!
    Tim Parsons
    Technical Designer
    Sauder Woodworking Co.

    http://www.sauder.com

  4. #4

    Nice!  

    - Yes, i went with "stroke" too, faster.
    - And be careful using motion blur, since render times will sky rocket. Perhaps try RSMB instead.

    I've yet to make nice FiberFX shading, but it might be that i haven't worked enough on hair/fur + reflection. Probably.
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  5. #5
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post

    - And be careful using motion blur, since render times will sky rocket. Perhaps try RSMB instead.
    LightWave outputs motion vector data for FiberFX in an .exr file, so yes, post processing mo-blur is definitely the way to go. (I don't think I've bothered to render 'in-camera' motion blur in LightWave in 10 or more years.) I haven't used FiberFX lately but the vector data output should should be working since LightWave 2015 to current.

    If you use RSMB, you'll need the Pro version to take advantage of the vector data. The standard RSMB can't use the motion vector channels and will instead rely on optical flow to 'fake' the motion blur--which actually works quite well for straight forward motions but it can generate weird artifacts for more complicated motions. (Like long hair.)

    In Fusion, you can use the vector data channel with the native Vector Motion blur node.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and great video Maurocor! Thanks for posting that.

  6. #6

    If you use RSMB, you'll need the Pro version to take advantage of the vector data.
    cool, sooner or later i'll get a hold of it.  

    what bout fast motion tho' ? does RSMB still kick for fast motion ?
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  7. #7
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    I use RSMB in After Effects, sometimes with and sometimes without vector data. Even without vector data, it works remarkably well much of the time.

    As for fast motion, RSMB might fail if there's too much difference between frames because it needs to recognize similar pixel patterns to interpolate the vector data 'on-the-fly'. If the motion is super extreme, even real vector data might fail--but if the motion is THAT extreme, you can probably just apply a 'dumb' directional blur effect and totally get away with it.

    If you're using AE, you can alternatively use the native Pixel Motion Blur effect that technically does the same thing as RSMB without motion vector data. When the vector data isn't available for the footage, I might use Pixel Motion Blur instead of RSMB because it produces a different result than RSMB and can look better in some situations. It is slower than RSMB though.

    IMO, none of these methods are always perfect so it's good to have multiple options that produce different results.

    Whenever possible, I want to get 3D motion vector data in my .exr files. The real motion vectors always makes the motion blur effect look better and is way more accurate than relying on optical flow generated motion vectors alone.

    This effect is considerably faster than rendering the motion blur 'in-camera' too.

  8. #8
    Super Member Kryslin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    Nice!  

    - Yes, i went with "stroke" too, faster.
    - And be careful using motion blur, since render times will sky rocket. Perhaps try RSMB instead.

    I've yet to make nice FiberFX shading, but it might be that i haven't worked enough on hair/fur + reflection. Probably.
    You'll need a lot of AA passes to clean up all the noise fibers introduce. GPU denoise doesn't help much in this instance. Also, don't use 100% black shadows, it helps lessen the noise. Shadow transparency does help a bit, but you add more time to the render.

    I'll have to try the slightly thicker in the middle setting, though.
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  9. #9

    - You'll need a lot of AA passes
    i found 10 mostly works alright in HD

    - GPU denoise doesn't help much in this instance.
    true, it actually introduces problems by "smudging"

    shadows + shadow transparency does little in my tests to remove Aliasing. (but it might depend)

    i've tried rendering at higher resolution, then down-scaling (the old Babylon5 trick) and it seems to work out ok.  ...not fantastic, but ok.


    Last edited by erikals; 09-07-2019 at 04:58 PM.
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  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenlaw View Post
    I use RSMB in After Effects, sometimes with and sometimes without vector data. Even without vector data, it works remarkably well much of the time.

    As for fast motion, RSMB might fail if there's too much difference between frames because it needs to recognize similar pixel patterns to interpolate the vector data 'on-the-fly'. If the motion is super extreme, even real vector data might fail--but if the motion is THAT extreme, you can probably just apply a 'dumb' directional blur effect and totally get away with it.

    If you're using AE, you can alternatively use the native Pixel Motion Blur effect that technically does the same thing as RSMB without motion vector data. When the vector data isn't available for the footage, I might use Pixel Motion Blur instead of RSMB because it produces a different result than RSMB and can look better in some situations. It is slower than RSMB though.

    IMO, none of these methods are always perfect so it's good to have multiple options that produce different results.

    Whenever possible, I want to get 3D motion vector data in my .exr files. The real motion vectors always makes the motion blur effect look better and is way more accurate than relying on optical flow generated motion vectors alone.

    This effect is considerably faster than rendering the motion blur 'in-camera' too.
    Thank You! This is good info!  
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  11. #11
    Living over there... MAUROCOR's Avatar
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    Thank you, guys. I am glad you liked the video.
    Fiber FX isnīt perfect but is so much better in lw 2012019 comparing to the old versions. It is stable and allow to create very nice fur/hair.
    Letīs keep pushing it forward.

    Another sample, using fibers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5bUlI5UKPE
    Ground control to Major Tom

  12. #12

    Beautiful render!  

    - FiberFX isn't perfect but is so much better in LW 2018 /2019 comparing to the old versions. It is stable and allow to create very nice fur/hair.
    yeah, the AA can be a bit of a wrestle, but overall much better than LW11 /2015.  
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  13. #13

    so far found LightWave to be very good, especilly for artistic style hair, long hair or very short hair.

    figuring out the best hair-sculpt solutions in LW however, not that fun.  

    -----------

    in 2019 i find it best to render at 125% or 150%, then scale down for better lines / antialiasing.
    goes for FiberFX and perhaps in general.
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  14. #14
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Re: hair sculpting for LightWave/FiberFX...

    In my earliest FiberFX jobs, I adapted Stuart Aiken's old spline cloning techniques for Sasquatch to FiberFX. At the time this was a game changer for me...but the tools and techniques we have nowadays are so much better.

    I use FiberFX off and on at work (mainly 'Trolls' scrapbook stuff,) but it's been a little while since I've had to create a complicated hair style for FiberFX. IMO, the native Edit Guides tool works very well for shorter hair styles. It takes practice to use it effectively and once I got the hang of it, I find I can get what I need very quickly. For longer hair, being able to use splines from Modeler is a good approach too. I still use FiberFX Modeler in Modeler too; this tool feels really dated now but it still has its uses.

    For longer and sculpted hair styles, I still think FiberMesh in ZBrush is a good system for Lightave's FiberFX. FiberMesh takes even more practice to use effectively. Even if you think you know ZBrush really well, using FiberMesh is practically a whole other skill to learn. Tip: The key is to use Polygroups to separate the hair into multiple regions that you can work on individually without affecting the others. Also, when you're just learning, be prepared to reset the fibers and re-comb/brush hair strands many times before you get what you want. This will seem tedious but it does get easier and predictable the more you do it. Back when I was learning, there was hardly any learning material available for FiberMesh but I think there's a lot of video tutorials on YouTube now.

    With FiberMesh, there is also the LightWave workflow to consider: to apply FiberMesh in Lightwave for Bullet dynamics, you need proper UV maps and weights, and for that, you'll want to get OD TransferMaps (part of ODTools) or Weighter 2. I've long felt these are features that should come with LightWave natively, especially if you work with hair and long fibers. This is probably going to be true with any third party program you use to create guides for FiberFX.

    All of these methods have a steep learning curve and require a lot of practice to do well. I think many users want something that generates unique hairstyles almost automatically but I'm not sure there's anything that really works that way.

    That said, I would love to see better and easier tools for styling hair for FiberFX. If anybody knows of any new tools, please post links!

    I still haven't taken the time to learn Blender but my interest was renewed with version 2.8 because of Grease Pencil and the improved UI. I haven't tried any hair stuff yet. Just wondering, has anybody had success using Blender's hair sculpting tools (like Hairnet mentioned in Prometheus' post) with FiberFX?

  15. #15
    Living over there... MAUROCOR's Avatar
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    I donīt feel confortable myself talking about blender here once this thread was created to talk about LW FiberFX, sorry. I am trying to get better results using Lightwave because I think hair/fur is much better in 2018-2019. About creating fibers, normally I do that in ZBrush but I donīt have only one way. I edit those zbrush guides directly in modeler if is is necessay, like I did in this Electra character.
    I agree about render times. And if you have to use subsurface scattering AND hair/fur together render time can goes forever.
    Ground control to Major Tom

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