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Landis
04-28-2004, 06:23 AM
Hello. My name is Landis. You may have come across some of my work on a character titled the AIRMAN. Well, heres the scoop...

I am getting ready to attend the Academy of Art University (used to be College) in San Fran and have to make the move from Blender to MAYA and have run into some problems finding hot keys for some of the actions in MAYA. Man is this frustrating....I feel as though I have taken quite a few steps backwards but I know that I have to do it so I might as well get a head start.

Now, I was wondering if someone could help me with some of the basic hot keys first:

-Render (IPR, Mental Ray, etc.). In Blender this is F12.

-Toggling directly to a view such as side or front without having to use the hot box (space bar). Is there a key for each view? In Blender the numpad is used exclusively for views.

- A way to change how I navigate. Blender allows the user to rotate at anytime from any view. MAYA seems to be constricting me to...for example...top view. I can pan and zoom but no free look! Also, if I were to customize my nav to the following Blender settings would this conflict with others within MAYA:

- -Middle mouse button free looks, shift+middle mouse button pans, and ctrl+middle mouse button zooms.


Thanks ahead of time....I am sure that I will have more questions.

Take care.

Your fellow struggling digital artist,

Landis

Per-Anders
04-28-2004, 06:31 AM
yo uknow there is a Maya area on cgtalk, this would be better asked there rather than in General Discussions.

as for hotkeys, go to the hotkey editor : Windows->Settings Preferences->Hot keys, llokup and edit all you want there... of course this is all covered in the manual.

as for viewport control, i'm not sure that maya allows remapping. so i would get used to maya's ALT+LMB = Rotate, ALT+MMB = Pan, and ALT+RMB=Dolly. it's pretty easy to get used to, theyr'e close together, and it's just hold down alt when you want to modify they view. as for unlocking the ortho views, again i'm not sure if maya allows it, but just get used to tapping space in the viewport to bring up quad views, then tap again in the perspective view to make that full screen.

Goon
04-28-2004, 01:07 PM
the maya interface is built around mel. Anytime you execute a command, you are executing a mel command, which you can find in the script editor (you'll need to turn on show all commands for some of them). This means you can make a hotkey for just about anything.

Switching viewports I use the hotbox center zone. It is very fast and I cringe everytime I see someone using mdme_sadie's method. (While hotkeys maybe really quick, I suggest you check out the top and bottom zones of the hotbox. You can switch layouts and viewports from there)

But if you really want to use hotkeys, just go into the hotkey editor, make a new user defined hotkey, and embed a line of mel code into it. Here is the code:

Front view:
switchModelView front;
editMenuUpdate MayaWindow|mainEditMenu;

Top view:
switchModelView top;
editMenuUpdate MayaWindow|mainEditMenu;

Side view:
switchModelView side;
editMenuUpdate MayaWindow|mainEditMenu;

Perspective view:
switchModelView Perspective;
editMenuUpdate MayaWindow|mainEditMenu;

JamesMK
04-28-2004, 02:23 PM
Hello. My name is James. You may remember me from the Blender community at Elysium where I was called 'Jamesk' :)

I made a similar switch myself a good while back, going from Blender to Cinema 4D. I definitely recognise the problems you are talking about, since it is rather a significant workflow difference between Blender and most other major 3D applications.

I'm no expert on Maya, so I have nothing to add to the specific stuff posted by Mdme_sadie and Goon above - BUT I'd like to point out that once you get more used to the Maya way of doing things, you will no doubt soon come to the point where you notice that it is simply not necessary to switch between views as often as one tends to do in Blender. The simple fact that you've got a transform widget for translation/rotation/scaling along the major axes makes viewport switching much much less important. I don't have any exact figures of course, but I'd say I do 95% of my work in one big perspective camera view, just panning and dollying as necessary. At times, when adjusting scene lights and stuff like that, I use a four-up display, and that's about it.

So - the quick view switcheroonies in Blender are perhaps not available to you, but on the other hand you will soon notice that you really don't need them that much anymore.

Good luck with your further endeavours, Landis thingy! :thumbsup:

Landis
04-28-2004, 11:21 PM
Wow! Sounds great! Thanks for all of the feedback guys. JamesK!!!! Whats up?! Never thought that I would run into a Blender head that has done the same. I see what you mean about the widgets....but still it is nice to be able to switch...I like seeing other views to check on what I have done....this new way forces me o trust everything I do all the time....not a very safe way of doing things in my oppinion but thats just me. Anyways I am sure that I will get used to it.

Goon...I too cringe when having to pound the spacebar in order to resituate my self....feels soooo sluggish....really slows down my work flow but thas cool. It is a very interesting thing to change 3d apps.....very difficult. I have learned to walk one way now I must learn another only I want to jump right in and apply what I know but I simply cannot.....ahhhhhh....frustrating. Well, thanks again everyone. I will be sure to check out the MAYA section.

Take care,

Cheers,

Landis

Landis
05-14-2004, 07:46 PM
Well...what can I say...the forums took a big hit so if this question was already answered I apologize.

Anyways, here goes...

Is there anybody out there that uses Zbrush in conjunction with Maya that has an explanation why they do so? Just looking to educate myself a bit (what benefits zbrush has over Maya's internal texturing tools, whether or not it is supported by mental ray, etc.). Its just that I have never used it and am wondering what all of the hype is about. Anything on this would be greatly appreciatted.

JA-forreal
05-14-2004, 08:55 PM
Hey Landis! You made a good choice with Maya. I was testing it out last year for some of my character animation work. I didn't have much free time to sit down and really focus on learning it. Maya is a really deep 3d app. Hey I will check back with you to see how you like its workflow.

I hope that you have success at the Academy of Art University. That's not far from my area. There is so much to do in the Bay Area, I'm sure that you will have a great time.

Goon
05-14-2004, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by Landis
Well...what can I say...the forums took a big hit so if this question was already answered I apologize.

Anyways, here goes...

Is there anybody out there that uses Zbrush in conjunction with Maya that has an explanation why they do so? Just looking to educate myself a bit (what benefits zbrush has over Maya's internal texturing tools, whether or not it is supported by mental ray, etc.). Its just that I have never used it and am wondering what all of the hype is about. Anything on this would be greatly appreciatted.

Zbrush can handle real time or near realtime painting of displacement maps at well over 3million polys (20 million being near the ceiling atm). If you've seen LOTR ROTK you know what zbrush can do. It was used extensively on many of the models.

Maya's own internal tools pale in comparison. The toolset is nowhere near as fast or complete, nor should it be expected to be. Zbrush is newer and specifically designed for 3d painting.

This is what the hype is about:
http://209.132.69.82/uploaded_from_zbc/200404/user_image-1082238091avg.jpg

Being able to sculpt that in zbrush, and export it as a displacement map for Maya.

Carrot Juice
05-14-2004, 10:42 PM
The hotbox is your freind. It takes some getting used to, but it can significantly speed up your workflow. I don't even have the menus shown anymore- just my shelves, the toolbox, timeline, and command line/feedback.

Landis
05-15-2004, 01:03 AM
Damn guys! Awesome replies. Thank all of you for your time and words.


JA,

I will be looking for your ass when I get there...we need to grab a coffee some time...seriously.


Goon,

Dude. That is amazing. So, how does it work? DO you start out inside of ZBrush with a mesh that you made in MAYA, paint away until your happy, and then export the displacement? What are the limitations when using the demo version? Also, is there a way to do color and spec as well?

And last but not least...

A guy from another forum said that he "has'nt used displacement in Maya 5.0 but in 4.5 they (displacements) were as slow as hell. Took longer to render than if you just renderd out a hires mesh ."

Any experience with this?

Landis
05-15-2004, 06:18 AM
Disregard. I downloaded the demo...really nice, however, everything is disabled...which is understandable although still frustrating.

Now, I was browsing the wonderful world wide web and found something over at rendernode regarding a LightWave artist who SEEMS to be using a certain feature that I think looks pretty promising. He didnt say anything about these pics, however, they pretty much explain themselves. Anyways, here they are...

This first image is obviously possible (append polygon tool, extrude edge, etc.)...

http://www.landisfields.com/maya_question_001.jpg

...although as you can see by this next image it looks as though he took the characters face and parented it to a sphere for shaping purposes...

http://www.landisfields.com/maya_question_002.jpg


Talk about a time saver!! Is this possible in Maya?

titaniumdave
05-15-2004, 05:43 PM
Sure is. You could just build the face and make a sphere and then use point snaping to get the head to be as round as the sphere. You could also use curve snapping on the surface too I think incase you want a point inbetween two of the sphere's points.

arangel
05-15-2004, 07:03 PM
Hi, Landis! Me too a Blender/Maya head!
You can also use a Maya live surface (magnet icon). It allows you to draw curves and such on the surface topology.

Landis
05-15-2004, 07:12 PM
Awesome! I am going to have to read up on it to know EXACTLY what you guys are talking about....that is...how to apply those tools but you have both pointed me in the right direction...I can find out the details on my own. Thank you!


arangel,

What the hell man!? Whats up! I have been running into Blender to Maya users like crazy over here...well...actually...your only the third one but that is alot in my book...small community and even smaller industry. Anyways, I really like it...lots of control and options. Blender has an extremely fast workflow once you get the hang of it....I am sure that I could run circles around myself now, however, if done right I can see how Maya could shave hours off of the time I would spend getting my thoughts from my head and onto the screen (obviously I put them on paper before the screen but you get the idea).

Anyways man good luck to you and your online magazine. Take care and tell the Blender heads I said hello. I dont meen to seem like I am dissing them its just that I have alot on my plate right now with Maya. You would shit your pants if you knew how much I learned last weekend alone!

Landis
05-15-2004, 07:38 PM
Ok, having a bit of trouble with the hypershade....

Now, I understand how nodes are created (similar to memory blocks in Blender) and can be linked to one another to achieve various effects, however, I am kind of lost on the basics!

Basically, I middle drag a preset (blinn, phong, lambert, etc.) t the work area exclusively. At this point it is just sitting there for me to edit...it is not assigned to anything yet right? Then, I Ctrl-A for the attribute editor, select my image file if need be, right click and finally assign material to selection (assuming I have the model to be textured selected in the viewport). Ok, now, this is where it gets a little fuzzy to me so heres what I got...

1. Is that texture sttill going to show up in the work area for me to assign to other objects if need be?

2. What is the area above the work area even used for?

3. Does Maya know to store (save) this shader and others I will create in a directory under that projects "project" folder?

4. If I were to save and take my scene to school would my shaders and other project entities come along for the ride or would I get there and find that all I have is mesh and light data?

5. How do I select the placement of my texture? I cannot find this anywhere! I tried the interactive placemet but it doesnt seem to do anything.

6. Can I achive the effect of 2 bumps and/or displacements without using the layered shader or is this exactly why he layered shader was created? Just dont want to be using the shaders incorrectly here. I am sure that there are alot of newbis out there that always use layered shaders and dont even know that it is unessesary most of the time.

arangel
05-15-2004, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by Landis
5. How do I select the placement of my texture? I cannot find this anywhere! I tried the interactive placemet but it doesnt seem to do anything.


For interactive placement (and a placement node), create your textures with Projection set, insteal of Normal (it´s a radio box choice at the top of the add texture window).

Landis
05-15-2004, 07:52 PM
Ohhhhhh!!! So if I leave it to normal Maya will not allow me to tweak the placement what-so-ever or does it just offer MORE placement options?

arangel
05-15-2004, 08:28 PM
A live surface atracts points being created. WHen set back to normal, all behave normaly and can be repositioned at will.
Mays has also great keyboard shortcuts for snaping!

Landis
05-15-2004, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by arangel
A live surface atracts points being created. WHen set back to normal, all behave normaly and can be repositioned at will.

Cool. So are you saying this is something that can be toggled on and off "on the fly" as opposed to dealing with the deletion of history?

pasto
05-15-2004, 08:45 PM
I will try to answer you on this. Forgive me if I don't give you the best solutions.


1. Is that texture sttill going to show up in the work area for me to assign to other objects if need be?

You don't need it to show up in the work area to assign it to any other object. Just select it in the area above in the materials section and right clic then select "assign material to selection".

2. What is the area above the work area even used for?

You clic on a shader (blinn, lambert,etc.) in this area then you clic on "input and output connection" (the double arrow) and you get the shading network in the work area.

4. If I were to save and take my scene to school would my shaders and other project entities come along for the ride or would I get there and find that all I have is mesh and light data?

if you take the entire project (not just the scene !), you will have anything you need. Check your textures though, because they can be linked from anywhere on your hard disk.

5. How do I select the placement of my texture? I cannot find this anywhere! I tried the interactive placemet but it doesnt seem to do anything.

Interactive placement works only with nurbs surfaces.
You will have to tweak the 2dplacement node to change the texture settings
or the projection node if you have a projection involved.
or the 3dplacement node if you use a 3d texture like 3d noise.

6. Can I achive the effect of 2 bumps and/or displacements without using the layered shader or is this exactly why he layered shader was created? Just dont want to be using the shaders incorrectly here. I am sure that there are alot of newbis out there that always use layered shaders and dont even know that it is unessesary most of the time.

Yes, you can connect 2 bumps nodes by connecting the outnormal to the normal camera. I don't know about the displacement though.

http://pasto.tv/bump.jpg

Enjoy Maya, that's a nice peace of software .

pasto

Landis
05-15-2004, 09:08 PM
WOW....thanks man! Now I'm gettin' somewhere. Ok, heres what i got in regards to your post (other feel free to jump in as well if you know what I am asking)...

Originally posted by pasto
You don't need it to show up in the work area to assign it to any other object. Just select it in the area above in the materials section and right clic then select "assign material to selection".

Ok so this is basically shaders I have created and the ones below in teh work area are the ones I am working on. Cool, great explanation.


Originally posted by pasto You clic on a shader (blinn, lambert,etc.) in this area then you clic on "input and output connection" (the double arrow) and you get the shading network in the work area.[/B]

So I can treat this like the hypershades very own built in hypergraph? Because correct me if I am wrong but this is exaclty what the hypergraph does only on more of a global level right?


Originally posted by pasto if you take the entire project (not just the scene !), you will have anything you need. Check your textures though, because they can be linked from anywhere on your hard disk.[/B]

So basically it is up to me to store the applicable textures into the appropriate project folders for less headaches in the long run? Other wise you are saying that even if I bring the entire project directory with me Maya will still be looking for a texture that is nested somewhere in my hard drive back home? Gotcha!


Originally posted by pasto Interactive placement works only with nurbs surfaces.
You will have to tweak the 2dplacement node to change the texture settings
or the projection node if you have a projection involved.
or the 3dplacement node if you use a 3d texture like 3d noise.[/B]

So how do I go about tweaking how my testure is applied using the "2dplacement node" you mentioned? I mean, am I going to always have the ability to tell Maya that I want the image to wrap like a tube, spherically, or whatever or such options only offered via the "projection" and "3dplacement" methods?

Landis
05-15-2004, 09:40 PM
...ohh...and before I forget...I was reading a tutorial (dont ask for a link because I couldnt find it again if I tried...lol) and I wanted to know whats up with these icons on the dudes shelf...

http://www.landisfields.com/maya_question_003.jpg

They might be on mine as well, however, I owuldnt know because I disabled most of my UI shtuff in order to force myself to use the Hotbox and marking menu's exclusively.

How are these used? Do they over ride the hypershade or do they work in conjunction with it?

Please dont leave out answers to the questions from my previous post (wink wink)...LOL.

Thanks ahead of time.

pasto
05-15-2004, 11:49 PM
I agree with everything you said.

For texture tweaking, I guess there are several ways. The icons you showed are UV projection modes for polys (edit polygons/texture), these are different from "regular" projections (that have a projection node in the Hshade) that are not stuck to the object and works for polys and nurbs.

Nothing really overides the hypershade (actually hypershade is god :D) only you will be able to see and edit these in the UV texture editor.

Quite confusing I guess at the beginning but it turns out to be quite logical with a little practice.

pasto
I am a beginner myself, I should say.

Landis
05-16-2004, 08:06 PM
Thanks man. Yeah...a bit confusing but not much. I actually understand the hypershade more than anything! Its those damn icons (not just the icons but the method of retrieving the command through pull downs as well)...I dont understand how those are different than whatever else...I mean are they an alternative mapping method and if so to what?

I guess I will just start poking around and see what I come up with. The main part that I am confused about is the fact tha Blender had 2 mapping methods:

1. The "basic" method which consisted of flat (planar), spherical, tube, and cube.

2. UV method.

The problem is that if everything is converted to UV's at some time or another then....well...but then again maybe that is the case in all apps and those "basic" methods I spoke of in Blender were simply UV presets! I think its making some sense now. Slap me and point me in the right direction if I start wondering too far from the heard...lol.


__________________

Landis
05-16-2004, 08:51 PM
....aaaaaand Im back...

Ok, I was "poking around" and I noticed 2 things:

1. That everytime I clicked one of those icons the UV editor changed its coordinates. So, does this mean that I can use these icons to change my UV projection methods on-the-fly as opposed to pulling up the hypershade, selecting the texture, CTR-A'ing to get the attribute editor, yada yada....(or is there a faster way to pull up such settings and I just dont know about it)?

2. Everytime I clicked on one of those icons my inputs list just kept getting longer and longer. Now, correct me if I'm wrong but all Maya is doing there is chalking up all of those times that I changed the mapping method just in case I will want to go back and retrieve em' later (aka the history of that particular object) and of which is an actual shading node or placement node because when I change the shape of an object Maya sees that as a tranformation node right? Just trying to see if I am on the same page at this point. Lots of questons I know...I am very sorry.....ok NOW GIVE ME KNOWLEDGE (insert sinister laugh here). LOL.

Goon
05-16-2004, 10:10 PM
i'm confused. what are you talking about?

1. Those buttons are for different mapping methods. They can also be found in Edit Polygons under Texture.
They are
Planar
Cylindrical
Spherical
Cubic
and I think Automatic
projection mapping

You use these projections to reach an approximation of how you want the uvs to be laid out. All they are are methods of unwrapping that can be found in pretty much every software. Unless you are dealing with primitive shapes, the uvs will need further tweaking in the UV editor.

The goal here is an end result, so unless you have something in your history which you wish to animate, I wouldn't suggest keeping the history. The history comes into play when there are deformations such as skinning and blendhshapes, and at this point you must be careful to preserve it, but otherwise, its usually discardable, which is recommended because excess history slows things down and can break.

As for the whole "pulling up the hypershade, selecting the texture, CTR-A'ing to get the attribute editor, yada yada....", what do you mean by this?
You can access the UVs in the uv editor. I don't understand why you would go into hypershade.

Hope that helps, if not could you reiterate your points in a clear concise manner. This thread is getting really long.

Landis
05-16-2004, 11:49 PM
Im sorry man...I totally missed the fact that I could access the network inside of the attribute editor....I was thinking that I had to select an object and then find the placement node and THEN I could go in to "interactively" tweak the placement which I NOW know isnt possible unless I am working with NURBS...in my case (poly's) I need to go into the UV editor which I am figuring out now.

The big thing I missed though was the fact that I can jump between the different shader properties via the attribute editor rather than hunting for the placement node inside of the hypershade. You will have to forgive me for my confusion man. I am coming from an application that has ALOT larger learning curve then MAYA and ironically enough I have been making alot of this more difficult than it really is. Maya's process is very simple yet intuitive...its just a matter of finding your way around in the attribute editor because I seem to get lost once I start clicking on the tabs and the little checkerboards to the right of all of the properties....ahhhhhhhh....LOL. Anyways, thanks for all your help I really appreciate it. I am sure that I will have some more questions by the end of the nite.

Landis
05-17-2004, 12:05 AM
...well...that didnt take long. Ok, I thought of how to word what I am having trouble with....

I understand how to apply an image (simply click the checkered icon to the right of the color attribute in the attribute editor) although what I dont understand is how to go in and interactively place it how I want. I hit the interactive placement button and nothing happens which is because I am using poly's instead of NURBS right? So, how do I do it with poly's then? Through the UV editor exclusively? Then how do I get that viewport placement plane I have been seeing people use in tutorials which allows me to interactivley scale and move the texture in the actual viewport using the transformation tools?

Jozvex
05-17-2004, 01:20 AM
I firstly just wanna say that I think you're quite a fast learner indeed! Clearly you were already really good at 3D before in blender, but you're picking up Maya fast!

I also think that all your threads are fantastic because other new people should be able to follow along with similar experiences!

It's such a shame that great posts got deleted though. :( Anyway, moving right along:

Originally posted by Landis
I hit the interactive placement button and nothing happens which is because I am using poly's instead of NURBS right?

Right! To be honest, after 2+ years of using Maya I never really understood that Interactive Placement Tool. I never use it.

Originally posted by Landis
So, how do I do it with poly's then? Through the UV editor exclusively?

No! Read on.

Originally posted by Landis
Then how do I get that viewport placement plane I have been seeing people use in tutorials which allows me to interactivley scale and move the texture in the actual viewport using the transformation tools?

Ok, here we go:

When you apply a 2D texture such as a File Texture to any object, you can select between two different methods of application, Normal or As Projection. You select which type right before you click on File Texture in that box that shows you all the things you can apply (up the top left).

Normal:

If you choose Normal, it means you'll use the object's UV coordinates the way they're currenly laid out in the UV Texture Editor (or the way they just 'are' by default). This is the same for both NURBS and Polygon objects. To edit the placement of the applied texture, you need to use the 2D Placement node called 'place2dtexture'. That node is automatically created when you apply a 2D texture.

You can get to that node either through the Hypershade/Hypergraph, or via the Attribute Editor by first navigating your way to the texture you applied, then you should see the 'place2dtexture' tab up the top also.

When using this method, you don't get the viewport placement plane thingy. You can only edit the values on the node through the Attribute Editor/Channel Box. The closest thing to viewport editing in this case is that crazy Interactive Placement thing for NURBS objects.

Why does NURBS get a crazy confusing tool but Polys misses out? I'm not 100% sure but I imagine it's got something to do with the fact that NURBS and Polys deal with UV's differently.

Polys are assigned UV's whereas NURBS have UV's built into the surface. For NURBS they're just part of the object, flowing with the surface. Which can be a benefit of using NURBS.

Ok, I think that's it for using the Normal mode.

As Projection:

When you choose As Projection, that's when the ability to use the manipulator in the viewport comes into things. As Projection means that it will use one of the 8 projection methods to project the texture onto the surface.

The 8 methods are:

1. Planar - The default method. Like using a normal rectangular movie projector. Gives you that classic viewport plane for move the texture.

2. Spherical - I think you get the idea, slightly more complicated manipulator for moving the texure.

3. Cylindrical - Yadda yadda.

4. Ball - Same as Spherical but tries to avoid the pinching problem at the poles of the projection?? Don't quote me on that, hehe.

5. Cubic - Like using 6 Planar projections.

6. Tri Planar - Hmmm, like half a Cubic projection?? Something like that anyway.

7. Concentric - Interesting! Never really seen that one before but perhaps it repeats the texture from the centre of the 3D projection outwards??

8. Perspective - Very useful for FX work etc. You project the texture from the point of view of whichever camera you choose. This technique is most often called Camera Mapping.

Ok! So anyway, when you chooose As Projection, for some reason it takes you to the projection node first instead of the File Texture node for choosing your file, so you'll have to get there yourself.

In the viewort you'll now have your manipulator for working with texture placement!

Last bit:

The last thing I want to tell you is that if you use the different mapping options via the shelf icons or the Edit Polygons > Texture menu, you'll get a viewport manipulator similar to with As Projection, but the manipulator will vanish if you deselect it or change tools. To get the same manipulator back without having to apply another mapping option (as some new people do) all you have to do is:

1. Select the object

2. In the Channel Box, click on the 'polySphrProj' (or whatever) under the Inputs section.

3. Now by pressing 't' on the keyboard (default hotkey for Use Manipulator) you'll get the controls back.

And its the same for lots of tools that give you controls but then they vanish, like Extrude Face (I think!).

Phew! Lastly I want to say that all of this is simply coming off the top (and middle, hehe) of my head and so quite possibly some of it is wrong!! I'm sure people will correct me if that's the case.

:thumbsup:

Landis
05-17-2004, 05:58 AM
Jozvex,

I cannot thank you enough. After all of the asking and crawling around on the floor crying to myself
:cry: "whyyyyyyy" :cry: you have come and answered my plea! You are the man dude. I will definatley hook you up anytime you need it. And when (not if) I produce my first creature in Maya, you can tell yourself that it wouldnt hav been possible without your help. Thanks bud. Time to go to sleep....have to work tommorow....I hate my job..lol...but hey...only 2 more weeks left of the military and off to art school baby! Yeeeehaw! Thanks again man. I am sure that by the time I get home from work tommorow I wil lhave thought of a long list of questions to slap back up here in this crazy thread.

Landis
05-17-2004, 06:34 AM
Yessssss!!! Ok man...I finally rendered some geometry with a texture the way I intended!!!! Oh yeah baby...I feel like a newbie all over again...lol!! By the way I was laying in bed and couldnt stop thinking so I snuck back into the computer room for a quicky before I hit the hay...my wife is going to kill me...shhhhh...anyways, heres my questions...

1. After assigning the texture I noticed that the hardware texturing for the projection map in the viewport is extremely lacking...or is there something that I can do to imporve this?

2. Also, I was taking a look at the network in the hypershade and I noticed that there was a 2d AND a 3d placement node, however, I am only using the 2d one. Does this mean that Maya always generates the 3d node as a slot for that data just incase I decide to use it? Basically, is there always going to be both a 2d and a 3d node in the hypershade for any given shader regardless of which placement technique (either 2d or 3d) I decide to use?

Well...thas all I got for now. Goodnite man. Hopefully I will wake up, wipe the crusties from my eyes, shake the mouse, and listen as the crackiling of my screen shoots electrons towards my eyes while I scramble to squint at the brightening screen for any possible new replies. Ahhh yes...the life of a forum dweller.:drool:

Jozvex
05-17-2004, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by Landis
Jozvex,

I cannot thank you enough.

Just doing what I can! :thumbsup:

You're lucky because I usually answer your questions really early (like 8:30 - 9:30am) so I've got plenty of energy. There's no way I could write too many answers that long in one day!

Plus I really want you to get up to speed in Maya fast so that you can create some more awesome work like your Airman stuff!

Would you believe I've been playing around a bit in Blender lately? I thought I'd give it another go just out of interest.

Originally posted by Landis
After assigning the texture I noticed that the hardware texturing for the projection map in the viewport is extremely lacking...or is there something that I can do to imporve this?

Yes there is. If you open up the Attribute Editor and navigate your way to the shader, there's a section down low called...Hardware Texturing! In there you can choose which map to display and at what quality setting.

You haven't already done that have you?

Originally posted by Landis
Basically, is there always going to be both a 2d and a 3d node in the hypershade for any given shader regardless of which placement technique (either 2d or 3d) I decide to use?

Well no, there shouldn't be.

I forgot to mention completely 3D textures before, but they basically work the same with the whole projection manipulator etc, only the texture is really calculated as like a solid 3D volume, and where the object happens to intersect is where the texture comes from.

But anyway, if you apply a 2D texture using the Normal option, you should only get a 2D Placement node.

Applying a 2D texture using As Projection however, will give you both. The 2D Placement node basically decides how the texture will be positioned on the manipulator shape, and the 3D Placement node is driven by the manipulator.

I think!

Landis
05-17-2004, 01:34 PM
Awesome. Again, great answers and explanations. We are always on the same page. Hey man as far as Blender goes if you have ANY questions and I do mean ANY let me know....I used that bad boy for about 2 years...I consider myself knowing it inside and out...literally. The only thing that I am not so familiar with is parts of the animation section which deals with IPO's and such but simple key driven stuff I should be able to help you with. But I am sure that you are just playing around and that is cool too. Shes GREAT for modeling. Verrrrry stream lined.

Now.....

But anyway, if you apply a 2D texture using the Normal option, you should only get a 2D Placement node.

See thats just it, I used projection, but only because of the lack of mapping options available under the "normal" option. Am I taking a performance hit by using the projection method as opposed to "normal"?

Jozvex
05-18-2004, 12:21 AM
A performance hit? No I don't think so, not a major one anyway. If it bothers you, you can use an option called 'Convert To File Texture' from within the Hypershade to convert your projected texture into a file texture that uses the Normal mapping method instead.

As for a lack of placement controls when using the Normal method, that's where the UV Texture Editor comes in and all the joys of unwrapping UV's etc.

Landis
05-18-2004, 04:43 AM
Yeah...I wish that I could find a decent tutorial that discusses using the UV editor. I would really like to give it a whirl. The method I use ("paint by number") is a little strange but I have gotten pretty good at it. If you are interested check out a tutorial I wrote for issue 46 of 3d world magazine...

http://www.landisfields.com/blender_problem_solving1.htm

Texturing is discussed on pages 3 and 4 (there are 4 pages total). In order to go to the next page just scroll to the bottom and click next.

If you havent noticed by reading the article, I really enjoy writing tutorials. I plan to take Maya to the next level for the community as soon as I start to come to grips with the old girl. I just cant get over how few people out there have written tutorials for Maya! Every single site has the same damn ones! I would say that there is probably 3 times the support from the Blender community when compared to Maya's and considering the role that Alias' plays in the film industry I find that to be simply unacceptable.

Beginning of Bitch Session...

People need to give something back. Everyone uses a tutorial every now and then. We all learn by them, especially those who write them! As a matter of fact I have read some of yours Joz and they are exceptional... lots of content...didnt leave anything out.

Lately it almost seems like people are learning and keeping it to themselves (insert mental image of selfish, shifty eyed 3d artist hunched over the keyboard with the glow of the monitor flickering on their face..."my preciousssss"). Some peoples kids. Who does that!?! As if others are not going to catch up to them anyway! It only hurts them in the long run. In short, the community (and industry) grows as a whole when people give back and I would like to see Maya improve in this area.

Now, books on the other hand...holy shee-ites! Maya has more damn books than a fat lady has chins! While this is good you cant rely on books alone...which is why I have like 30 of them staring at the back of my head right now...lol. Hey thats it...maybe I will give birth to "Y.A.M.B." (Yet Another Maya Book).

...End of Bitch Session

Anyways, I will get off of my soap box and back to the topic at hand......more questions!!! :bounce:

1. Is there an inverse to the combine tool? Lets say I have a sphere and want to cut that sucker in half, ultimately ending up with 2 seperate hemispheres. Cant find the tool for this.

2. By using the projection mapping method are my textures subject to "swimming" during the deformation process while animating? If so is there a "baking" option to prevent this?

lricho
05-18-2004, 08:52 AM
U looking for tutorials? Have you checked out all the links at http://www.learningmaya.com/tutorials.php ? Could be worth your while if you havnt already. There's a HEAP of stuff there.

Landis
05-18-2004, 05:58 PM
Great link! Thanks bud!! Adding it to my favorites right now.

Landis
05-20-2004, 07:28 AM
Ok, not to get too far off subject but how does V Ray compare to Mental Ray? Also, is the free version of V Ray worth a download?

Jozvex
05-20-2004, 09:41 AM
Hello there my favourite ex-blenderer named Landis!

Originally posted by Landis
1. Is there an inverse to the combine tool? Lets say I have a sphere and want to cut that sucker in half, ultimately ending up with 2 seperate hemispheres. Cant find the tool for this.

Oh, my, goodness! Finding the answer to this question has taught me something I never knew before now! This is the part I did know:

There are actually two answers to your question in a way, because of the way you asked it. "Is there an inverse to the combine tool?" Yes, it's called:

Edit Polygons > Separate

If you select an object that you have previously used the Combine tool on, Separate will separate them apart again.

But to answer the part about splitting a sphere into hemispheres, what you want is:

Edit Polygons > Extract

In your sphere example, you would go into Face mode, select half of the faces and then use Extract with the default options. You'd then have two halves, BUT!

Here's the part I could never understand. Normally whenever I've tried to use Extract, I've ended up with each selected Face being a separate object! And I've always thought "what's the point of that!". But today I finally realised what was going on. The option:

Polygons > Tool Options > Keep Faces Together

Was turned off! That option affects lots of different tools like the Extrude Face tool for example. Turning it off means that when you perform some sort of modelling action on a selection of faces, each face will have the operation applied to it separately. Which can be useful for extruding fingers for example.

But in this case you want that option to be on before you use Extract. So that you won't end up with heaps of single face objects.

Wow, I don't know why it never occured to me before, I guess I figured it should have been an option of Extract.

:scream:

Originally posted by Landis
2. By using the projection mapping method are my textures subject to "swimming" during the deformation process while animating? If so is there a "baking" option to prevent this?

Possibly, yes (though it doesn't show it in the viewports, only on rendering which is weird). And yes there are two ways to bake the textures to stop them swimming:

The first and easiest way is to go (from the Rendering menu set):

Texturing > Create Texture Reference Object

I don't really know the workings behind this, but the result is that it creates a templated copy of your object. It probably then just looks at this reference object at rendertime to know where to position the texture. It works nicely, just don't delete the reference object!

The second way is to actually convert the projection into a 2D texture file by following these steps:

1. Open the Hypershade.

2. Select your object in the viewport.

3. Shift-select the shader (ie lambert, not the actual projected texture).

4. Somewhere in the black empty part of the Hypershade, right click and go to:

Edit > Convert to File Texture (Maya Software)

Make sure to go into the option box because there are lots of settings you can play with, like the size and format of the file texure it will produce.

The reason why it says Maya Software in brackets, is because in the options there are settings for baking nearly everything, the lighting and shadows etc. So for Mental Ray you need to use a similar but different procedure:

Forget the Hypershade (I don't think you need the shader selected), you just select the object and go to:

Lighting/Shading > Batch Bake (Mental Ray)

It's just the Mental Ray equivalent and has options for baking GI and things like that also. Alias will possibly combine these in a later version?

Originally posted by Landis
Ok, not to get too far off subject but how does V Ray compare to Mental Ray?

Well, VRay is very nice. It's very fast and has most/all of the advanced features of a modern renderer like GI, Caustics, Micropolygon displacement, etc.

It's great and it's been used well in production. Whether it's better or worse than Mental Ray is highly subjective I'm sure.

Originally posted by Landis
Also, is the free version of V Ray worth a download?

Yes, but only if you have 3DS Max! Currently there's no Maya version yet, but it's in the works.

Read all that then hit us with the next batch of questions!

:thumbsup:

Landis
05-20-2004, 07:47 PM
Shweeet. Cool man I am up to date once again thanks to you. :bowdown:

Landis
05-21-2004, 05:46 AM
Ok...I am following this dudes tutorial and cannot figure out what he is talking about concerning step 17...

http://www.3dtotal.com/team/tutorials/antro_eye1/antro_eyemod_02.asp

He says to apply his settings from the screenshot to the cornea...shouldnt there be more settings than just that (translucency to name one)? I dragged a phong shader using my MMB on to the work area, changed the settings to what he had in the screenshot (or atleast those settings that he had displayed) but I see that he has a file assigned to the color. Well, I tried assigning the viens and it renders them all jacked up! Am I supposed to add a placement node because if so then why isnt there a placement tab in his screenshot? Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Jozvex
05-21-2004, 07:02 AM
Hmm, I think he might have put the wrong image next to step 17! I think that because:

* He is talking about creating a Cornea shader, but the image shows the shader for what appears to be the white eyeball part of the eye.

* He says to use a high specular colour but in the picture it's only on like middle gray.

Maybe you should find a different eye tutorial!

Landis
05-21-2004, 07:39 AM
Tried man...cant find one that touches on the same qualiy. See...I want that nice clear coat on top of the other....computerarts had a good one for dinasours....cant find it now though...I think they took it off line! Sucks man...I think the reason that the other tut doesnt make sense is because it was translated to english. Damn....if I just had that scene file so that I could see what was going on in there.

Landis
05-21-2004, 07:20 PM
Well...after quite a bit of tinkering I am getting some pretty decent results, however, I just cant fiure how would one get the outer eye (transparent area) to distort or refract like that because I created an outer eye, scaled it slightly bigger than the one inside of it, set the transparent settings and when I render the one inside looks completely black! Any ideas on this?

Also...

In the tutorial he said to be sure to turn of casting shadows on the outer object so that it doesnt cast onto the one underneathe it...this makes sense but I cant figure that out for the life of me either! LOL!

Jozvex
05-21-2004, 11:54 PM
For the shadows thing:

1. Select the outer eye object.
2. Open the Attribute Editor.
3. On the shape node's tab, there's a section called Render Stats.

In that section you can turn all sorts of things on and off!

For the blackness problem, hmm. The shader is semi transparent, but did you give it any refraction?

If you gave it refraction and you're rendering with the Maya Software renderer you'll need to specifically turn raytracing on in the Render Globals.

Similarly in Mental Ray you'll need to set the render quality dropdown to Production, to enable raytracing.

:)

Landis
05-22-2004, 08:16 AM
Damn...thanks buddy! Once again you have saved the day. I hope you feel a bit of pride when you see my first Maya creation because if it wernet for you I would be dragging my feet around the room while flicking my lips with my index finger (refer to old school warner brothers cartoons for the visual). Thanks again for all the help....and for god sakes keep checkin' in because the day you stop hookin' me up is the day I go mad!!LOL! You're in it now bud...theres no backin' out now...LOL! Hey man, I am not sure how far you are from the San Fransisco Bay area but if you ever head over there for a Siggraph or somethin' (I havent been to one yet but you can bet yer ass I am going to the next one) then we have to grab a beer, coffee, etc.. :beer:

Ok, time for bed...have to get up early so my wife and I can start packing up our things (including the computer :eek: ) for the move next week.

Jozvex
05-22-2004, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by Landis
Hey man, I am not sure how far you are from the San Fransisco Bay area but if you ever head over there for a Siggraph or somethin' (I havent been to one yet but you can bet yer ass I am going to the next one) then we have to grab a beer, coffee, etc.. :beer:

Hehe well Australia is kinda in the same.....well....planet as you! So that's a start!

Landis
05-22-2004, 08:28 PM
Australia eh? Damn! Oh well :shrug: . Australia is a cool place to live I bet....from what I have seen in the movies atleast...never been there myself. It would be cool if they held a Siggraph there. Oh hey! I just remembered a couple of questions I thought of last nite while trying to fall asleep....

1. How do I "append" (Blender terminology) objects from other scenes (files) into the one I am currently working on? For example if I created an eye as a seperate file (scene) from that of the characters body, how would I import that eye into the body scene (file)? I am sure that this is capable on an object level in addition to importing entire scenes. If so can you please explain how to do that as well?

2. Now, I asked something similar to this next question before but I cant find it in the thread anywhere...I think it was lost in the hacker deal. Anyways, is the "bleeding" of colors done through final gathering or is this a seperate function inside of Mental Ray all together? If so, where exaclty do these radiosity settings "live" inside of the render globals?

3. If I set an objects transparencey attribute to 100%, then will the highlights (sheen areas) still be visible? In Blender this was true...a good example would be a relly clean glass similar to that of an automobiles windshield.

Well..that about wraps it up for now. Back to cleaning and packing...lol. I will be checking in all day in between my tasks...without my wife knowing about it ofcourse....wouldnt be good to have her catch me in front of the computer when we are supposed to be moving....lol.

Cheers,

Landis

Jozvex
05-23-2004, 02:59 AM
Hehe yeah, Australia is cool. Needs more CG though! We have a pretty big Siggraphy type of thing here called the 'Australian Effects and Animation Festival' which is really good. It's on twice a year (goes for 3 days), once in Sydney in Decmber and once in Melbourne around about now. I've been two years in a row to the Sydney one so far. The Melbourne one is different in content (just in that different movies are out at the time etc) but Melbourne is too far from where I am.

Originally posted by Landis
1. How do I "append" (Blender terminology) objects from other scenes (files) into the one I am currently working on?

File > Import

There are options you can set but you basically just import a whole other scene file. You can't select objects from the scene to import. To do that you'd need to save the objects out into separate files for importing.

Being able to select the objects to import would be nice though, strange they haven't included that option thus far.

Originally posted by Landis
Anyways, is the "bleeding" of colors done through final gathering or is this a seperate function inside of Mental Ray all together? If so, where exaclty do these radiosity settings "live" inside of the render globals?

Colour bleeding can be done through both Final Gathering or Global Illumination in Mental Ray.

My Final Gather tutorials don't really cover colour bleeding (that can be in my 3rd FG tutorial! haha, great, another one), but I basically describe how to do it over in this thread:

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=143784

I posted an example scene in that thread too but it's for Maya 6. Normally people use GI for colour bleeding, I err.....um........haven't finished my GI tutorial *nervous COUGH* so you'll have too look on the learning-maya.com site for one, there should be a few good ones.

All the settings and options are under the appropriate sections of the Mental Ray Render Globals.

Originally posted by Landis
3. If I set an objects transparencey attribute to 100%, then will the highlights (sheen areas) still be visible?

Yes, as far as I can remember they should!

:thumbsup:

Jozvex
05-23-2004, 04:03 AM
I just discovered you're two-timing me!! DezFX is helping you on 3DBuzz too!!

Haha, I'm a mod on that forum and I didn't even notice. It's because I don't answer many questions in the Modelling forum, modelling isn't really my strong point hehe.

So anyway, *SLAP*.

:p

Landis
05-23-2004, 07:55 AM
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah man....well...kinda....

I ALWAYS ask in more than 1 forum because I want to see what everyone has to say....it gives me an idea of how different people might appraoch the same problem....however....I will tell dez right now that Joz is the man....dude...seriously...you are the one I get 90% of my answers from.....100% lately. You are the only one that knows the answers!!! If you compare my replies you will see that I answer yours quite a bit differently than the rest....have I asked anyone else to hit a beer with me...now come on man...lol....honestly....you are the man...check my thread over at 3dbuzz and see what I have to say about ya'....also...just so you know...I am hookin' it up over at 3dtotal, highend3d, alias, and some others so we are on the same page now......but you are the man that ALWAYS comes through bud.

You hate me dont you...LOL!:cry:

:rolleyes:

:cry: I'm sorrrrrrryyyyyy!!!! :cry:

Jozvex
05-23-2004, 09:35 AM
Getting multiple opinions and strategies is always a good idea. Maya is certainly known for having multiple ways to tackle any problem!

I can forgive you for this TREACHERY I suppose. ;)

I definitely wouldn't say I'm the only one here that knows these answers, far from it. Even Alias browses these forums from time to time.

I think I'm just the only one crazy enough to write out the answers! The reasons I'm crazy enough to do it are because firstly I think your cool and your Blender work was fantastic!! So you should learn the power of Maya in order to take your work even further for me alone to selfishly enjoy!! Well, you can post it on the net too, I guess. Hehe.

And secondly I think this will help the forum by adding a whole lot more searchable content for peoples future questions.

And hey, now I can say I know someone in the military! Which might impress someone some day, hehe.

Hmm I like paragraphs don't I? It's because I used to get marked down in school for not using them enough!

And lastly, isn't rendering just the most time-wasting and boring thing ever? Yes, it really is. I've been rendering an effect (well, passes for one) ALL day! I hope Maya 7 has an amazing integration of a new improved realtime Mental Ray 4 or something! That would be nice!

I'm 'trying' to recreate a similar effect to something I saw last night in the making of 'The Day After Tomorrow', where ice freezes things over. At the moment I'm testing it on.........a teapot.

Then maybe after that I'll try it on some live action footage that I'll so elegantly film myself with a Mini DV camera!

:wavey:

Landis
05-23-2004, 06:26 PM
"Know someone in the military"...lol.....your killing me over here man. Yeah, as far as people answering me I could care less who knows it and who doesnt...the fact that you take the time out of your day to answer those in need is what seperates the men from the boys. Anyone can learn this stuff eventually, but to share what youve leanred with others is something special. I think that is why I like to write tutorials.

Ok, now, as far as your "freeze" project...I must first say that I want to see that movie like you wouldnt believe!!! Second, I am not sure if you know this or not but there is some pretty cool ice shaders over at highend 3D....though I am sure that you have your own and all and are probably alot better than those....just thought you might want to check those out to see how they did it.

Jozvex
05-23-2004, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by Landis
Second, I am not sure if you know this or not but there is some pretty cool ice shaders over at highend 3D....

I was thinking that perhaps I'd take a look at least just to see what other people have used. The ice shader will be the hardest part.

I'm pretending to be really professional by rendering out 'lots' of different layers for different effects in compositing. So far my list will be:

* Metal Teapot layer
* Frozen Teapot layer
* Ice Crystals layer
* Travelling Matte layer (greyscale map of the transition passing over)
* Leading Edge Travelling Matte (same as above only just for the leading edge of the transition effect, maybe for a different effect at the edge)
*Stalagtite layer perhaps

And it's 300 frames each because it's a 10 second (at 30fps) camera fly-around. I've rendered the Ice Crystals layer already at around 2 - 3 minutes a frame, and the Metal Teapot layer at around 20 seconds a frame at 640x480 in Mental Ray.

Now, all that sounds well and good but it could end up hopeless! I'm not the best compositor (mostly due to lack of experience) but hopefully it'll be fine.

It'd be nice to get some sort of cracking going on in there too, hmm I'll have to think on that one.

And what would be really cool is if can then continue the fly-around and melt all the ice off, having all the water run off the bottom.

But one step at a time, hehe!

Landis
05-23-2004, 11:37 PM
What would REALLY be nice is if you could make a tut for it as well. I mean...how do you render in various passes in Maya? I am definately interested in this.

Jozvex
05-24-2004, 12:07 AM
Haha, I think we should wait and see how good it looks first. No-one would want to make a bad looking effect!

And for the passes, I've basically just got different modified versions of the same scene and I render them out normally. They aren't traditional passes like a specular pass or colour pass etc.

However, there's a script on Highend called.........argh I forget the name (I'll find out) but it's fairly newish and looks really good at doing just what I want all in the same scene. It requires you to know some MEL and there's a bit of setup involved.

Next time I do something like this (if this doesn't turn out disastrous and there's no emotional scarring) I'll definitely test it out.

The biggest dilemma I have about making tutorials on specific effects though, is (if it's really good) I might want it on my demo reel! And if everyone knows how to do it..... it won't really seem that great on my reel!

If you get what I mean. It's the same thing with a tutorial I was going to make on "Mystique like transformations", effects like that could look really cool on my reel, but if they're common knowledge people might use them everywhere and de-coolify them.

Hehe.

Landis
05-24-2004, 01:34 AM
LOL! I totally know what you mean. Very understandable. Damn dude....I have to shut down my computer tonite for a week!!! I will gain net access anyway I can (while at friends house while I am supposed to be saying goodbye, library, anything). So, I will still find ways to pick yer brain. Dude, when I get to San Fran I will have T1 and from what I here that is the shiz-nizzle!! Faster than cable modem atleast.

As far as the passes ar concerned that sounds cool. Is it relatively easy to set it up for the traditional method you spoke of (specualrity, etc.)? Ha! See how I snuck that one in there...thought you were going to get away without having to answer any questions eh? LOL!

Jozvex
05-24-2004, 02:21 AM
Hehe, I think it's relatively easy, but I haven't done much of that stuff since like Maya 4!

Good luck with all the moving etc!

pasto
05-24-2004, 02:25 AM
Can somebody explain why Alias didn't develop this sort of feature ? XSi (and C4D) has got nice multipass renderer.

pasto

Jozvex
05-24-2004, 03:18 AM
I think only Alias can answer that!

But it's not like Maya has NO render pass/layer capabilty. It has some, just not necessarily that great.

Jozvex
05-24-2004, 09:13 AM
*gulp*

Ok well, I guess 'version 1' of my freeze effect is finished. I say version 1 because there's at least one thing I'd really like to change, but I'll post the current one anyway:

http://www.jozvex.com/temp/FreezeOverSmall.zip

It's a 2meg zip and ends up as a Quicktime file.

I think it's not too bad but I really don't like the transition pattern/effect. It's too big (the feathered edge of it) and so it looks kinda 2D, even though it's not.

This animation is not full size (it's 400x300 and the full is 640x480) but the file size was 6.5 meg which would take me too long to upload! Especially for one I'm not totally happy with.

I also ended up changing the look in Digital Fusion from ice to more of a frost/snow look, because the ice just wasn't looking that good, hehe.

What do you think anyway? Any crits or comments you people out there?

I'll re-do the transition matte and hopefully it'll look nicer. That's the great thing about passes, you can often just re-render one quick pass instead of the whole darn image!

:wavey:

pasto
05-24-2004, 02:35 PM
Well I really don't know how I would do this myself but I think that the pattern at the birth of the effect might be more crispy, it is too soft and round and may be too slow too imho.
nice job though, did you make several passes for this ?

pasto

Landis
05-24-2004, 11:48 PM
Ahhhh! Over at a buddies right now...squeezi' in some internet time...hehe! Ok, Joz, love the render....although I would have to agree with Pasto that it should be ALOT more crisp....these are shards. However, you are on to something with the soft "fog" type approach....only I would drop this down to a lower opacity (I assume you are dealing with layers if you are dealing with passes). I think that this would accent the shards quite well....it could give it much more of an organic or "realisticly cold" look and feel overall. Basically approach what you currently have as a cloud of transparent coldness or frost while kickin up the crystral feel of teh surface. I think this will support your current surface crystals. Just an idea. Anyways, great work man...looks really nice...I especailly love the "default" material of the pot prior to the freeze...great job on the environment reflections!

Now, not to get too far off track, but what do you guys reccommend for a good video card to run MAYA? Ahhhh yes...the age old question. I was looking at ATI's Fire GL line as well as Nvidia's Quadro products....whats the scoop....any experince or feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.

Joz, I asked this in another thread as well...they were discussing something similar....I still want to know what you and any others out there are using though. Thanks man.

Later,
Landis

Jozvex
05-25-2004, 12:14 AM
Thanks guys! Yes the transition does need to be much crisper and snappier! And I will re-try to make it look icy instead of snowy.

Pasto, yes I rendered out 4 passes:

1. Metal Teapot pass
2. Frozen Teapot pass
3. Ice Crystals pass
4. Transition Matte pass

Landis, to find out which video card (or at least which lines of cards) are 'Maya Certified' you can go to:

http://www.alias.com/eng/support/maya/qualified_hardware/index.jhtml

Getting a certified card can make a big difference in performance!

I would probably go for the latest and greated Quadro card from nVidia.

:)

Landis
06-05-2004, 01:49 AM
Oh yeah baby....guess who has the internet once again....ME!!! Ha! I am back in the saddle...all moved...and confused as hell!! Thats right...stuck again. LOL! Well...been gettin' a bit ahead of myself...readin' up on the smooth proxy...like it...somewhat. Kinda confusing with all of the extra crap it creates....and I understand that is the point (to have an additional low poly mesh to mess with) but the bitch gets in the way...I understand it can be moved to a new layer and the fact that upon smoothing a mesh using the proxy feature one can specify how MAYA is to generate the mesh (creating a new layer to be referenced, etc.)....I undertstand it but pretty confused when it comes to texturing...too many meshes! Which one to texture...the intial mesh (one prior to smooth proxy)? I would try SubD's but I hear that Mental Ray will get pissed at SubD's due to quad issues from time to time....how can I prevent this?

Landis
06-05-2004, 05:06 AM
Got some more questions....

Is there a way to switch selection modes on the fly while retaining the selection made with the previous method? For example...if I were to switch from vertice to face then Maya would calculate what faces were made up from the verts I had selected and switch gears accordingly. This really would be nice. There has to atleast be a way to convert my selctions to other types (from verts to edge, face, etc.).

lricho
06-05-2004, 06:19 AM
Yes, you can either go to a different component mode while having your old selection still active (e.g. with faces selected, hold down RMB on the model and select edges or UV's or vertices).

To convert your selection to another type, you can go to Edit Polygons->Selection->Convert Selection to...

Landis
06-05-2004, 09:38 AM
Sweet! Thanks man! I owe ya' one!

oden
07-23-2004, 04:56 AM
Hi Landis,
good luck with your new move, can't wait until I see your first Maya creation ;)

and besides, about Blender, if you knew how much Blender's development has come,
you would jump to ceiling :D, well...I might write more, have little time as I type to tell you,
next time! :)

and again, good luck!

bbirras
07-26-2004, 09:39 PM
Attempt of a painless transition >blender2maya
Ive been following this thread and it did help a lot. The transition from one app to the other, is always painful, as one has gained a certain workflow. I am still only messing around with the PLE, so by the time I make that kind of investment, I would like to be able to rock?n roll from the start.

To make the transition as painless as possible, I thought it would be a good idea to assign as many blender hotkeys as possible to the same or similar maya functions.

I am overwhelmed by the amount of functions maya has. My attempt consists in the following:
1. List all maya and blender hotkeys. (done)and in the attached file
wip:
2. Compare blender functions(with assigned hotkeys) with maya functions (or similar) and make a list> to do
3. assign the blender short cut to the same or similar maya function (check if the maya function already has a hotkey assigned and put it on the available list.
4. drink a cold beer out of a icy frozen glass (>done, hmm, I will repeat this step?)

drawbacks:
not every function is important, as everybody uses certain functions, while others never ever will be used. So everybody learns individually ?his? hotkeys and that?s it.
Conclution:
I still think it is worth the effort to compare the blender and maya terms and make a list of them, as it will save a lot of time afterwards. So if anyone out there thinks it is a good idea, please feel welcome to add some stuff to that list. As there are so many functions it would maybe be a good idea to split it into: animation/ modeling/ etc.

please do consider using the attached file and add what ever or post here what u gonna do,in order not to do double work

Goon
07-26-2004, 10:01 PM
hotkeys are evil. There are too many functions in maya. Only the ones you use a TON should be in hotkeys. Take a look at marking menus. I have about 5 grouped where my left hand wrests. They store modeling functions and some animation and rigging commands as well. They are just a tad slower than hotkeys, but it is worth it, not having to one handed reach accross the keyboad for P or something.

Also, while I'm sure having the same hotkey layout as blender will help ease your transition, be aware that this can also hinder your adapting to the maya environment. There's nothing wrong with customization, but Maya is going to be different, no matter how much you change the keyboard.

Leave the QWERT keys intact! They rock!

bbirras
07-31-2004, 03:17 AM
hm seems like this thread died.......anyways.....
in blender I would use the power of the ipo-window to animate, which could be compared to the graph-editor
difference is that I dont have all the keyable attributes visible in the graph editor.

example: in blender i want to make a wheel rotate constantly around the x-axis...I just click x axis click 2 keys in the ipo-window and set the curve to cyclic or cyclic explotation...done .the wheel rotates constantly round and round..(i also accelerate/slow down the anim with the time/speed ipo)
in the graph editor I only see allready existing keys.....only existing key-curves can be altered..
but when I press s I only do get the normal transformation attributes -trans.-rot.-scale)
----
Question: a) is there a way to have all keyable atributes visible (not just translate-axis,rotate,etc,etc.)
b) is there a click somewhere to have the curve repeate ....example in a walk cycle--(cyclic) in a rotation (cyclic explotation-constantly rising/falling curve)
c) is the graph editor comparable at all with the ipo-window or do I have to find alternative methots to set speed atributes to (for example a walk-cycle)
big ??
--------
and
before I waste my time finding answers...maybe someone could tell me why my particles are sometimes rendered...and sometimes not. I do get warnings, like: -particles not included- or -particle-hardware-render-scipped....Set ups are identical (so I think)
-
I went trough the docs, but they only oppened more questions.......
:hmm:
well I just fire this post and hope

Landis
09-04-2004, 01:22 AM
Goon,

Thanks man! Yeah, I am in there now. Bit the bullet and learned Maya's native keys...good stuff.



bbirras,

Died?! This thread will be going strong long AFTER I release my short even! LOL! I always have questions and the more I learn the more questions I have...it is most definatley exponential.

As for the cyclic thing I know there is a way to make it an infinite value to where it will also reflect this with the curves in the graph editor as well. It is VERY simple...heres the link to a video that explains it...

http://www.digital-tutors.com/digital_tutors/display_video_details.php?videoX=13

Gnomon vids explain this as well but the digital tutorss option is free so I assume you will go directly there and take a look.




Now,for some qustions of my own...

1. In Blender there was a way to smooth poly's without altering the topology (or in other words, without the addition and/or movement of any verts). The only drawback to this was that the profile would obviously reveal the illusion (a good example would be a smooth looking sphere having a jagged sillouette). Having said that I am still interested in achieving a similar smoothing effect inside of Maya WITHOUT using Sub-D's or Smooth Proxy. Any ideas?

2. I was looking to bust out some Z Brush action on my latest secret project character and I was wondering how people are achieving the look of scales and such. Is this an option, brush or what? I mean, its one thing to do something similar inside of photoshop manualy via the clone tool, however, it looks as though the renders in the Z Brush gallery house these features seamlessly almost as though the tool (or stamp of some kind) they are using to add such effects actually know to weave the cracks (or scales) into one another in a seamless fashion on the fly as you paint (or sculpt rather)!

As always, anything on this shtuff would be greatly appreciated!

Later all,

Landis

Landis
09-08-2004, 02:13 AM
Uhhhh....hello....anyone out there? Guess not (poor me...booo whooo...Landis has sand in his but because no one wants to be his friend). Just kidding. Let me know if anyone has nything because I still havent found the answers.

Later,
Landis

Landis
09-17-2004, 01:48 AM
Ok, I havent really recieved an answer for the other questions yet but I thought I'd ask anotehr just incase someone cruises by and has the urge to answer one of em'.

Question:

Does Maya (or mentalray rather) support Ambient Occlusion? How is A.O. different from radiosity, G.I. and/or final gather?

Jozvex
09-17-2004, 03:25 AM
(poor me...booo whooo...Landis has sand in his but because no one wants to be his friend).

Sand in his butt?? Is that a real saying? How crazy.

1. In Blender there was a way to smooth poly's without altering the topology (or in other words, without the addition and/or movement of any verts). The only drawback to this was that the profile would obviously reveal the illusion (a good example would be a smooth looking sphere having a jagged sillouette).

What you want to do in Maya is 'soften the edges' of your object. To do that you select your object and go:

Edit Polygons > Normals > Soften/Harden (with the option box).

The default angle is 89 degrees by default I think, which is the angle I mostly use anyway. What it will do is smooth/blend/soften the normals of faces together, that are 89 degrees or less different to each other. Basically anything less than a right angle.

I can't help you with the ZBrush thing sorry.

Does Maya (or mentalray rather) support Ambient Occlusion? How is A.O. different from radiosity, G.I. and/or final gather?

Yes, Mental Ray can do Ambient Occlusion through using the Dirtmap shader by Daniel Rind. There are also Ambient Occlusion scripts like RayDiffuse for the Maya Software renderer, but I'm a Mental Ray-aholic so I recommend the Dirtmap shader approach.

Ambient Occlusion is different to GI in that it doesn't do colour bleeding and is not a physical simulation of light bouncing around. Ambient Occlusion does two things:

1. The 'Ambient' part looks at your scene environment (colour, texture or HDRI image for example) and applies some ambient shading to your object based on what it finds.

2. The 'Occlusion' part darkens your object in areas that would be occluded if environmental light from all around the scene shone at your object. So cracks/creases and places that are close to another object (such as a floor plane) will be darkened by however much you choose.

Final Gather can certainly achieve an Ambient Occlusion effect if the model is lit only by the environment colour/map and not by normal lights. However using an AO shader such as Dirtmap is way better because it's fast, easy to control and can easily be made artifact-free (even during animation, which is harder and slower to achieve through FG).

You can get the Dirtmap shader here from Daniel Rind's website:

http://animus.brinkster.net/stuff/plg_dirtmap/plg_dirtmap.html

When installing new Mental Ray shaders, the zipped package will often contain XSI files or C++ source files, but the only things you need to worry about are:

*.mel files which just go into your normal user scripts folder.
*.xpm files which are Maya icons, that go into your user prefs > icons folder.
*.mi files which are like the Mental Ray interface to the shader which go into your:

'C:\Program Files\Alias\Maya6.0\Mental Ray\Include' folder.

*.dll files which contain the actual shader code and go into your:

'C:\Program Files\Alias\Maya6.0\Mental Ray\Lib' folder.

Sometime's there'll also be *.fti files which are special Maya icon files that display in the Hypershade window instead of the default "Mental Ray Shader" picture. They go into your:

'C:\Program Files\Alias\Icons' folder.

After you've placed all those files into the right locations, there's one last thing you have to do, which is edit your:

'C:\Program Files\Alias\Maya6.0\Mental Ray\Maya.rayrc' file in a text editor. For each shader you install you need to add two lines to that file. In the file you'll see lines like:

link "{MAYABASE}/lib/base.{DSO}"
link "{MAYABASE}/lib/mayabase.{DSO}"
link "{MAYABASE}/lib/physics.{DSO}"
link "{MAYABASE}/lib/contour.{DSO}"
mi "{MAYABASE}/include/base.mi"
mi "{MAYABASE}/include/mayabase.mi"
mi "{MAYABASE}/include/physics.mi"
mi "{MAYABASE}/include/contour.mi"

Those are the lines that load Mental Ray shaders. What you need to do is add two new lines to load the Dirtmap shader, like this:

link "{MAYABASE}/lib/base.{DSO}"
link "{MAYABASE}/lib/mayabase.{DSO}"
link "{MAYABASE}/lib/physics.{DSO}"
link "{MAYABASE}/lib/contour.{DSO}"
link "{MAYABASE}/lib/Dirtmap.{DSO}"
mi "{MAYABASE}/include/base.mi"
mi "{MAYABASE}/include/mayabase.mi"
mi "{MAYABASE}/include/physics.mi"
mi "{MAYABASE}/include/contour.mi"
mi "{MAYABASE}/include/Dirtmap.mi"

Then save that file, restart or open Maya and your new Dirtmap shader should appear in the Mental Ray shaders tab under Materials!

You can use the Dirtmap shader as a full base shader like a Lambert, which is good for creating a seperate Ambient Occlusion pass, or your can for example apply it to the ambient slot of a regular shader.

I personally like to plug a Dirtmap node into an 'RGB to HSV' node, then connect the V (value) of that node into the diffuse attribute of my shader.

But it's a very flexible shader. Phew, I think that covers it all!

:thumbsup:

Landis
09-17-2004, 06:41 PM
HOLY CRAP!! Joz yer' a saint!!

I am definatley going for the dirt shader method. I too like mental ray...steep learning curve (to employ successfully) although I know that road leads to a satisfied artist in the end.

Now, I am sure it will take me a few tries to get it right even though you supplied me with a step by step procedure but hey...I am so stoked and especially about the fact that you knew I would have trouble so you covered all the bases ahead of time! LOL! Thanks buddy!

About the shader...initially I as looking to use it for showing off the model prior to animation although from what you typed it sounds like I can use this inconjunction with other shaders (or textures rather) as well and she'll not only look good but she'll render fast...blazzzzin' fast! Cool man, thanks a million! Exactly what I was lookin for (definitions, instructions, and all).

As for sand in the butt it actually goes a bit different than that however I cannot get away with saying where the sand REALLY is located however this way makes it a bit more like a household saying as opposed to something a bunch of military guys would mumble. But basically the idea behind it is like saying someone just went to the beach and they got sand in their butt and they are crying about it...its kind of like saying someone is feeling sorry for themselves. I said that because I see it all the time in the forums and after reading back to myself what I wrote it totally sounded like that..."poor me....no one is helping me with my silly little question that is soooo important because the earth evolves around me and NOW my thread is at the bottom of the list so I'd better type how sad I am in order to resurect the ol' girl". LOL! Too funny. I see it all over the forums. Its so pathetic...and the best part is that I found my self doing it! LOL!

Anywho, thanks again man. Once again you saved me.

Jozvex
09-17-2004, 11:10 PM
It's my sand-from-butt-removing pleasure!

I'm glad you're still around doing 3D!

Landis
09-17-2004, 11:37 PM
I'm glad you're still around doing 3D!

Thanks man! Yeah, I am taking 5 classes right now; history of animation, anatomy, figure drawing, figure modeling (sculpture), and last but certainly not least gestures & emotions in art (acting for animators). I wish there was more time to attack some of my ideas but the classes are definatley giving me some inspiration of their own so there are no complaints on this end. In between (no pun intended) classes I have been keeping the dust off the old computer skills by watching gnomon's maya/animation videos in addition to asking some questions to wonderful people like yourself here at cgtalk. The reason I was bothering you about the ol' A.O. is becuase in Blender I felt as though I had a pretty firm grasp of lighting, although in Maya there are so many more possibilities that I find myself lost. For example for the AIRMAN I used a light dome approach to simulate (or fake rather) a decent G.I. effect but Maya (mental ray) offers various and sometimes too realistic (in terms of time consumption) of a solution to these same problems. Basically I have a bit of a strange style. I shoot for cartoon realistic if that makes any sense. I also like the dirty look of some of the A.O. renders I have come across lately and have wanted to give it a whirl on one of my projects I am looking to release soon. So, in short, you saved me, and again I thank you. I have quite a bit of homework this weekend but you can bet your sandy butt that I will be running through your dirtmap checklist. Anyways, enough about me...whats new on your end?!

oden
09-18-2004, 09:04 AM
Hi Landis!

I see you have loads of things to do, so I wonder how the Maya world feels compared to Blender, leaving it behind now? Just curious... :)

And SF is nice too ?

Landis
09-19-2004, 10:22 PM
Hey Z! Yeah pretty busy man. I am definately getting closer and closer to my dreams every day. As far as Maya and Blender are concerned, its not really a matter of leaving anything "behind". Saying that would be like saying a person abandons their knowledge after graduating from college. I used Blender as a tool while I myself was learning how to be a 3d artist. The amount of information that I absorbed in that period was astronomical. 3D is a state of mind and a way to approach an objective which ultimately consists of many problems as opposed to a toolset. I dont care what type of clay a particular sculptor uses unless I myself am learning to sculpt. I think that today "man" is most concerned with the process rather than the end result which is ok until we reach the point where we are praising trash similar to that of an aged wine. As for a general comparison between the tools (Maya and Blender) themselves...heres what I have to say...

Maya and Blender at a glance

See, the general problem I have found with Maya is that Blender is very good for what I want to do "right now" where as Maya has a tendacy to focus more on what I might want to do in the future which isnt neccessarily bad either way. Basically, in Maya I often find myself thumbing through piles of features to achieve a simple effect where as in Blender performing the same task can possibly be resolved in a fraction of the time. Maya tries to remedy this by grouping work environments based on categories most likely defined by the workflow pipeline of the studios in todays industry. These categories include modeling, rendering, dynamics, etc. If you were a modeler at a particular facility you probably wouldnt want to spend the majority of your time hunting through endless menus regarding aspects of the project you have no say in. This is where you can see the effect Maya's role has had on its interface as opposed to Blenders. I recently read that Blender was used for the pre-viz in Spiderman2 which is a sign that facilites ARE in fact using Blender. Fortunately, because Blender is opensource "it" appraoches quality vs. profit in much of a different manner than a company would. Because of this Blender's existence isnt as dependent upon the film industry as Maya which leaves the developers room for adapting the interface more towards that of a freelancer if that makes any sense. Whether this is intentional or not this is how it reads to me when compared to Maya which, in my oppion, is actually a good thing! As a matter of fact I think Blender's developers should stop focusing on the larger companies and instead target that exact audience (indi's)...but again thats just me.

In short, Blender's strengths and weaknesses are even more apparent to me now after having explored another software package in that it is basically just another group of people approaching identical problems in a different manner in hope to achieve similar results in the end. The real problem at hand is the users of these applications (artists). Alot of these people are skeptical about their skillset across the board and should have the right to know exactly where they stand in the industry as a whole rather than at just one studio, or, if they are capable of breaking into the business. I think this is where schools like Animation Mentor come into play. This school aims to build an animator that can pilot any tool and /or medium. The people at A.M. have discovered the core that defines animation in and plans to share that vision with the rest of us. But, its not just schools that are changing the way we appraoch the medium. Applications are also making breakthoughs in the way they interface with the artist. Just take a look at the way Zbrush has impacted us in th elast 2 years! Another "brow-raiser" is a program by the name of Modo that allows users to change the key bindings to reflect the environment in which they (the artist) are coming from (Maya, lightwave, 3DSMax, etc). I think that this is the type of mentality that is going to seperate 3d applications from one another in the next 5 years. Programs like Modo as well as ZBRUSH make excellent examples of how various platforms are going to have have to cater to users that are constantly shifting from one interface to another. Think of it as dangling candy in front of the users nose to get them to come in. If the developers have done their job right with the rest of the toolset, then once their in, thier in! Today, galleries alone are no longer acceptable in terms of incentive to get users who are in the market for something diffrerent to make that dreadful and ever-so demanding switch.

bbirras
09-22-2004, 09:57 AM
I think you are right and switching apps will eventually become as easy as 1, 2, 3
thats why I came up with the attempt to "blenderise" maya......at least shortcut wise

heh

you brought it to the point there landis:

Basically, in Maya I often find myself thumbing through piles of features to achieve a simple effect where as in Blender performing the same task can possibly be resolved in a fraction of the time


If you look at the background of both apps, it clearly shows why that is:

Blender was developed as an in-house tool at neo-geo for quick and dirty video-sequences, mainly used for broadcasting style stuff such as ads, etc.Speed was a must(small company + impossible deadlines)

Maya is an overkill of functions and well probably never ever use even 50% of them.
It was developed to cover everything possible in 3d production.
It?s a part of a high end production pipe with nearly all departments included. you will have to specialize in one or the other departement to get proficiency knowledge with a couple of determined functions.

Its so profound, you can get lost in deep space. :eek:

In my case, I will concentrate on anim, as character anim in Blender sux!!
But things are so complex, that I ll need a lot of practice to get all this little details right, one has to be aware of - ufff it?s a steep curve!!

Playing and messing around with different settings is time consuming and due to the richness, it has to be taken in small doses. I tend to go back to the doc or tuts all the time. Sometimes I repeat a tut 5 times from memory with 5 different results. When I check it then with the tut ill get a sixth result. Is it me or does that happen to others as well?

On the other hand there is so much more control for animation in maya, but its still no pleasure to work with it (yet) hopefully that ll change.

As for modeling- I ll definitely stick to wings and blender. You cant beat the speed and get clean meshes. Id say that these two apps are superior to maya, when it comes to modeling.

I got a couple of free-bee video-tuts at
www.simplymaya.com

wish I had the gnomon-stuff, but Im not really willing to pay the elevated price.

Whenever Im fed up with learning, I watch a ?the making of whatever-movie?; Recognize the maya interface and get all inspired again. Good trick to psych me up after the seventh different result of an ?exact-step-by-step-tutorial-repetition?. Arrgghh

I ll keep all the question Ive got to myself for the moment.
Funny thing with the doc is, that one finds whatever else, but the wanted answer. Isnt that odd?!

I really don?t like the maya manual, because it never gets strait down to the point, but sends you from a to n to p. and back to a again. :hmm:

I bought a 99,-euro book for maya 4.5 and it?s a bit more strait forward. I cross out my open questions as I read along. ;)

:rolleyes: this is stuff 4 4 different posts :rolleyes:

anyway have fun

Landis
11-11-2004, 02:43 AM
LOL. Great post. I really enjoyed that. I totally agree. I have been away for a while and apologize for not replying sooner.

I have a question for anyone who has the time to answer it...

Ok, I am getting pretty comfortable with Maya and FINALLY understand texturing...which brings me to a pretty strange question and MAYBE a little more difficult to answer but I KNOW it can be done....
Basically I have a model that is already UV mapped and shes good to go with image textures mapped into the appropiate channels (spec, bump, etc). Now, Lets say I am cruisin' around the net and I see a nice shader that I would like to add to my model but I dont want it to be mapped using the UV's I have already assigned for the other images...instead I want it to be wrapped more in a global manner (sphericaly over the entire model) as it would if I were to drop it on a newly created model that hadnt had any UV's assigned yet. A good example would be if I wanted to slap on a wet shader on an already UV mapped model that added a slimmy look but while retaining all of my previous UV stuff. I am sure that this requires a bit of node linking here and there but not sure where to start.

As always, anything on this would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Landis

loden
11-11-2004, 10:24 AM
I hope to understand what you're asking, anyway say u have a color map mapped with uv and u want a bump map mapped with a "global manner" as u say, ok, it's a simple task:
When u choose a map for a channel you can choose to use uv coordinates (normal) or use a Projection that could be Planar, Spherical, Cylindrical etc...u can switch from uv to projection at creation time, in the top of the "Create render node" (Texture -> 2D Textures) window that appear when u're goung to assign a map to a channel.

http://lodenfactory.altervista.org/immagini/proj.JPG

Ah, and no problem if u have other map based on uv, those remains as they are :)

I hope this could help, sorry if I misunderstood what u're asking ;)
Bye

Landis
11-11-2004, 05:12 PM
Yes! Thank you. That is essentially the same thing I wanted to do...BUT...there are a coulple of other things I was wondering...

Lets say I wanted to apply 2 bumps: 1 using the same UV coordinates as my color map and the other in the "global manner" (spherical projection) I talked about earlier. In this case I have already used up the bump channel in the attribute editor. Can I in fact have more than one bump per shader if I link the nodes in the hypershade instead of doing it through the attribute editor because the attribute editor leads you to belive that you can ony have one image per channel unless I am missing an option somewhere? If not why isnt there a way to do it through the attirbute editor as well....you would think that if a certain function was going to be redundant they would atleast be consistent. ??? I mean I understand the hypershade is intended for more advanced linking and assignment but I dont neccessarily think that using more than one bump map is an advanced technique nowadays. Maybe I should scrap the attribute editor mapping method and start working with the hypershade exclusively.

pasto
11-11-2004, 05:18 PM
Hi Landis, I didn't read all the thread but you know that you can link bumps nodes together right ?
You plug 'outnormal' to 'normal camera' from one bump to another, the last one goes to the bump channel in the shader.

Landis
11-11-2004, 05:32 PM
Pasto,

Thanks man! Yeah I have heard about it but not explained as well as you just put it in one sentence. LOL. But, if I do that will the bumps "melt" together or will they still be used indipendently from one another? I have a book that discusses it and uses the example of cloth. The fist bump would be the fabric and the second would be fine wrinkles (small enough to avoide using a displacement map).If done properly the fabric bump should still be visible inside of the wrinkles, otherwise by default the dark areas would just "multiply" themselves in photoshop's layer terms (dark areas just bleed together to form black). Does your way avoide this?

loden
11-11-2004, 07:05 PM
If u want to connect multiple maps in the same channel u could use a "layered texture" node, that take up to 6 different maps ( if I remember well ) and put them in different layers that u can control like the Photoshop layers, u have multiply, add, subtract etc.... U could use a map based on uv and togheter in a different layer a map based on projection.
I attach a sample network for u to understand (u have some error when u'll load it but don't worry, I don't know why but maya create on top of the other layer a new one black, just erase it....sorry for that), what I have done is:
1) create a "layered texture" node;
2)create with normal (uv based) checked the Checker map;
2)create with projection checked the cloth map;
3)with the attribute editor of the layered texture node open up I dragged the 2 map nodes on the blank space in the "layered texture attributes" tab with the middle mouse button; Throw away the green one (that is the default blank map) and u have u're shader ready to be tweaked ;)
Let me know if there is something u don't understand!
Bye

Landis
12-12-2004, 03:20 AM
Thanks loden!

Ok, I have another question guys. I can do this in Blender but cant find out how in Maya (both the lighting aspect as well as the wireframe). Maybe some of you have come across the article but I was wondering how to achieve an effect (wireframe with realistic lighting) like the keytoon guys did on the following image:


http://www.landisfields.com/drmaxwell_001.jpg



I think that they use max but I was wondering if something similar could be done in Maya. I mean, are they probably using a lightdome (or multiple spots aranged in a hemisphere type shape) to get the look of the lighting and then for the wireframe just compositing the wireframe render inside of photoshop? Any ideas would be great.

may99
12-12-2004, 07:06 AM
create automatic Uv map take UV snapshot edit it in photoshop and assign it back to collor chanel of your shader... this is wery rough result... done in 5 min

you can even edit the width of lines in photoshop... by sellect>modify>expand and use it on alpha cahnel of the file...

Landis
12-12-2004, 10:05 AM
Thanks man! How did you do your lights for the image of your sphere...looks good.

may99
12-12-2004, 05:12 PM
Thanks man! How did you do your lights for the image of your sphere...looks good.
As i set its simple 5 min test so as far as lighgth in the scene only 1 imple IBL sphere with HDRI image ... but it will work with any light setup.... ah its redered with mental ray...

and IBL=image based lighting from mental ray render globals :) but u probabely know that... :)

Landis
12-12-2004, 07:08 PM
Can you do me a huge favor and post your scene file so that I can take a look at how you did that (IBL). I would REALLY appreaciate it.

Thanks again man.

Landis
12-26-2004, 12:14 AM
Christmas day and guess what I am doing...learning Maya. AH! LOL. Ok, heres my question....

Ultimately I guess I want to know how do I modify an attribute to multiple objects at the same time. Basically I selected a bunch of lights and am trying to simultaneaously alter all of their intensities but it only affects the last one I selected (a.k.a the active object). I tried grouping and parenting but I think I am doing that wrong as well. Please help. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Merry Christmas,
Landis

loden
12-26-2004, 02:04 AM
Once you have selected all your lights ( or any other things ) go to: Window -> General Editors -> Attribute Spread Sheet and there you can change the attribute you're interested in for all the selected object in one shot.

Landis
12-26-2004, 06:30 AM
Thanx brutha!

Landis
12-26-2004, 09:49 PM
Ok I have anutha'...

Now my problem is that I want the lights in the scene to cast shadows on a white plane (the ground) but I dont want the outer un-lit areas of the plane to be shadowed. Basically I want the white ground plane to blend in with the white background while still showing the shadows casted by the character but the plane is dark where the lights arent hitting it! Is there a way to tell Maya to have only the cast shadows from the character show up on the plane and not other shadows or no? I might be going about this wrong. Any ideas would be great.

LehaS
01-21-2005, 08:06 PM
Hei Landis...

I bookmarked this thread some time ago....but only today found time to read it till the end...

I would say its content now is more like "MAYA beginner FAQ" and its really nice cause many people can follow it.... there lots of fundamental MAYA concepts explained and etc..

And of course about your question... :)

Personally, to render shadows separately i use shadow pass...which u can turn ON in render globals...but it works more for architectural stuff...where i m after the overall look of the image ....

But if its important to get detailed shadow on per-object basis u can try Background Shader...

Just assign it to your shadow-catching object ....and make sure that all other objects has Primary Visibility set to OFF....so they wont mess up with your shadow...

In the Background Shader attributes set Shadow mask to 1.0....so u ll get clear pass....

Probably u've already got answers to this question yourself , assuming the fact that your last post was like 1 month ago....

Anyway.... Hope it ll help...

Alexi...

Landis
01-21-2005, 08:14 PM
Thanks leha_sokol!

Landis
02-08-2005, 01:07 AM
Hey all. I am using an ambient occlusion shader (raydiffuse) and it is giving me some issues (cant really describe it...black pathces and other garbage) when using (or trying to use rather) motion blur. Anyone else out there use raydiffuse and have had this problem with motion blur? Also, has anyone out there used dirtmap with motion blur successfully? If so I will give that a whirl. Thanks ahead of time.

Cheers,
Landis

Landis
03-17-2005, 09:49 PM
Hey Joz (or anyone else who knows the answer) if yer out there I have a question bud...

I have recently been toying around with Final Rig and I was wondering if there was a way to have either:

A) No legs and just a tail...

...or....

B) No tail and one leg.


I hard that its bad mojo to delete the bones or move them after they have been generated....is this true? Probably a LRA (local rotation axis) thing eh? In case your wondering its for the WORM I am working on and as simple as you would think a skeleton would be for a cylindrical character lets just say he is pretty complex for a "worm".

Anyways, thanks ahead of time.

Cheers,
Landis

Landis
03-22-2005, 09:02 PM
I am on spring break right now so all I am doing is working on this little fella all week (with the exception of waiting in line for the sony PSP tommorow...ouch). As of right now I figured the Spline IK was the way to go (thanks to the help from some buddys of mine in another forum). Ok, enough talk...heres what I got...

1. I have been searching the web for tutorials on spine rigging (if you have any links feel free to post) and as far as I understand the whole LRA thing can get a little ugly, so, to avoide that I should use Jason Scleifer's Joint orient script to ensure the LRA's are all pointing in the same direction and finally I need to freeze transformations on the rotation values of each joint itself right?

Also...

2. I got a little set driven key thing goin on right now for the eyes along with some blendshapes that are linked to a facial control in the viewport. The control is one similar to the ones discssed in Jason's stop starring book (circle curve inside of a square). Basically it allows me to move the eyes around but I was wondering if there was a way to apply an aim constraint in addition to the set driven key I already have. As of right now the rotations of the eyes are linked to the translate values of a circle curve inside of the viewport but I am afraid that if the character bends backwards the eyes will just go along for the ride instead of remaining locked on a target (i.e a locator). So, should I just create 2 locators with an aim constraint to each eye, then parent those locators to another locator, and finally parent THAT locator to the existing control curve I have now?? I want to be able to move the eyes around like I currently can do but also constrain them to a target if need be. Any ideas on all of theis mumbo jumbo would be greatly appreciated...sorry for the confusion of my post if any.

Landis
03-26-2005, 06:22 AM
Hey all. Still pluggin' away at the rig for my character. So basically I should only have values for 1 axis of the translate attirbute in the channel box right? Well heres the deal...all of my joints are good except a couple of them even after having used freeze transformations! Is there a way to get rid of this? Also, I am wondering if this has happened after connecting (parenting) some of the joints to one another (upper spine to the clavical joints of each arm, etc.). In this case is it ok to have more than one translate value? I read somewhere that "only Parent Joint's can have translate values in Y and Z, all else are trans of zero" which is exaclty what is going on in my case.
Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. A little behind the schedule I have set for myself.

Cheers,
Landis

Landis
03-29-2005, 04:33 AM
LOL! Well. Apparently nobody knows the answer to my previous questions but I am sure that even some of the newbies will get this one...


I am trying to get the eyes of my character to follow along with the rig I have built. I tried parenting both eyes to the head joint but this seems to screw up the rotations values when I go to use the controller I have setup via setdriven key. Everything is fine up until that point though...everything lines up, they follow along, yada yada....but as soon as I start moving that little nurbs curve around (yes I am using a similar setup to Jason Osipia and MuscleTK) the eyes no longer rotate how I set them up (well...they do but I think I may have a little double transformation thing goin' on). Should I be using some type of constraint instead of parenting?

Landis
04-29-2005, 07:51 AM
Ok, my rig is coming along nicely but now I have another problem...

I am in the process of setting up facial controls for one of my characters using a Jason Osipia style approach (the "square-box-with-a-circle-driving-blendshapes method) and I have ran into a bit of a problem with the tongue. Before I continue I should tell you that I am attempting to do this myself. Not that I dont like Jason's controls its just that I have different ideas and I dont want to just use his...that would be lazy (like me virtually copying and pasting this message as an email to him). Anyways, my idea was to create a tongue controller (class "C" as he puts it) that behaved more like the eye controller in that wherever you move a nurbs circle inside of a box the eyes follow (because the translates of the circle are set driven keyed to blendshapes)....very intuitive I think...but its just not happening like I expected...or atleast like the eyes did.

I created 5 basic blendshapes; up, down, left, right and out (for "out" I was going to map to a custom float attribute in the channel box that would show up when the tongue controller was selected). So, I went on to the whole set-driven-key bonanza only to find that maya's interpolation for the "diagonal" positioning of my controler (the corners of the box surounding the controler) collapses the tongue a bit. I am guessing that it is losing mass due to averaging of the blendshapes but then again I am still learning. So, being the mister shmancy pants that I am, I then went on to create my OWN "diagonal" blends (tongueUpRight, UpLeft, DownRight, and DonwLeft) only to find out that I cannot key multiple drivers (XY) in the SDK simultaneously. And, even if I COULD I would STILL have to find a way to disable mayas interpolation of the shapes when the circle controller is in the diagonal position! Is this the job for some type of expression? Basically I need maya to recognize that my circle controller is in one of the corners of the box and use the appropraite blendshape I have created instead of interpolating between the up, down, left, and right that are currently linked to the translate X and Y. ANY...and I do mean ANY help on this would be greatly appreciated.

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