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Thread: What am I doing wrong now???

  1. #1
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    What am I doing wrong now???

    I thought I'd create a simple animation of a plant leaf drooping. But of course, this would not prove simple (at least for me). I've used Clothe dynamics before, so I thought if I set the stem points as the fixed points and the leaf surface to Cotton clothe all I would have to do is add gravity and then my leaf would droop. Of course not. If the calculation works at all, the entire leaf disappears. If the calculation doesn't work the leaf and stem remain there unmoving like its just trying to out fox me. (I think I've been doing this too long, I'm starting to get a complex with this leaf!) I've loaded the scene and as is probably obvious, I'm still a noob at this.

  2. #2
    Super Member geo_n's Avatar
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    Tried morphs? More control.

  3. #3
    Ninja Troll phillydee's Avatar
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    just a quick observation--didn't really try and tweak stuff but, just from looking at it you could try:

    1) separating the leaf from the stem entirely, so you can eliminate the stem from any calcs and possible causes of frustration
    2) try scaling up your leaf/stem to where the leaf is like 2 meters long/1 meter wide etc. This sometimes helps. ClothFX has a calc resolution parameter, but instead of reducing that number to 1mm, sometimes the easier thing would be scaling up your object
    3) model the leaf with more points to make it ClothFX friendly. Also, evenly spaced points will give you best results.
    4) I would just start playing with parameters without clicking on the cotton preset. If you want it to be more 'leafy', I would just start with a lot more "Hold Structure", resistance, and a very low gravity value.

    When all else fails... try morphing to a pre-modeled "droop"

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I will try your suggestions. I'm just used to software (not 3d type) that is intutitive and performs consistantly. Lightwave constantly reminds me that it is not intuitive and it doesn't perform consistently. If it did, my leaf wouldn't disappear. Its hard to fix something you can't see. At any rate, all your suggestions phillydee make sense and I will try each one. I will try the morph as well as suggested by both of you. I'm just trying to learn, but every time I think I have something down, like clothe dynamics, i try it on something else and Lightwave acts differently. It makes it hard to tell if any progress is being made. I appreciate your suggestions.

  5. #5
    Ninja Troll phillydee's Avatar
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    Lightwave constantly reminds me that it is not intuitive and it doesn't perform consistently. If it did, my leaf wouldn't disappear.
    Hey I've been there, and I understand where you're coming from--I think it helps to know as well that ClothFX initially wasn't written by NT staff but by Daisuke Ino way back in 2000, named "Motion Designer"... so some of the terminology is a bit dated and initially had a case of "lost in translation". I think ClothFX is really one of those integrated plugins that has a very steep learning curve, with very little initial reward for hours of hard work. I don't even consider myself an expert by any means--just understand how tough it can be when trying to figure it out.

    The leaf dissappearing: yes, it does, and I have no idea why. I however got the leaf to not disappear by keeping "substructure" at a value of 1. Part of the disappearing could have been an issue with the evaluation of your points and how they were laid out to create the leaf. The programming of ClothFX responds much better when being applied to geometry where the points are in a grid. So... when you have un-even spaced vertices, it behaves very differently.

    In any case, I hope through all this you pick up some tips that can help you down the line.

  6. #6
    note > don't use SubD's unless you know what you are doing (and certainly not at Level 6)
    keep a good polyflow on the object, no superthin/long polygons. (unless using a metalink object)
    mm setting was set to 10mm, but leaf is 2meters, set it to 200mm instead to cut calculation time.
    add gravity.
    don't pre-bend leaf, that's the gravity's job.

    check this one, by far perfect, but gives some clues on how-to >
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by erikals; 09-13-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by phillydee View Post
    The leaf dissappearing: yes, it does, and I have no idea why.
    polyflow (very thin / stretched polygons) clothfx doesn't like it ;]
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