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JDex
11-28-2004, 01:53 AM
So, I am just finishing up the "creation" phase of my first full-blown character... the modeling is done (or at least I thought it was)... the UV/texturing is done (maybe some tweaks here or there) and I have starting on making my shape keys.

The problem is, I have just decided to add some geometry (wasn't planning on a tongue, but have decided to add one. Thanks to the lovely construction modes it is quite simple to add. The question is... what problems can I expect with my UVs, finished shape keys and misc properties (like the symmetry map)...

Will I have to go and retexture to compensate for my lack of forethought?

Will I have to redo my shape keys?

Will I need to delete and apply a new symmetry map?

I ask these things, because, although trial and error is crucial... I really want to keep moving on this so I can actually animate something (imagine that).

So in addition to my above questions... How do you like to work through these steps. Do you UV the model before creating shape animation? How about before setting the overall envelope? Have you ever faced any issues in the process that you have learned to avoid that you can share with your XSI cohorts?

Cheers

Edit: I hope no one gets miffed... I'm cross-posting at the base.

Ablefish
11-28-2004, 09:42 AM
For your textures it shouldn't be too big a deal at all. The new geometry you added will still exist in you prior UV projections - you might want to just select them and move them out of 0,1 UV space. That way you can create a new projection and just use that for the tongue part (move the other geometry out of 0,1) (and mix it into your previous rendertree). (Or you can try to incorporate it into your existing image nodes - it's really hard to say without knowing how you approached your overall texture job).

Shape keys are created on a cluster (even if its a cluster of all the points of a mesh), so your new tongue shouldn't cause problems - I hope - don't quote me. You should be able to create new shapes just for the tongue (create a new cluster). I guess part of it depends on how you added the tongue... ie, did it come from points within a previous cluster and did it mess up all the point ids.

As for you shape map - you pretty much have to create a new shape map any time that you change the topography count. No big deal really - just blow away the old one and reapply.

To answer your general questions - I find that XSI is VERY forgiving in terms of going back and making changes, especially if you're not changing the topography count. Even generally adding points doesn't cause too many problems unless you've in a tight area packed with clusters. In terms of enveloping, even if you had a few edges or points, all it takes is a few applications of the Smooth Envelope and those new points are part of the envelope. Shape animation is a different bag, and I probably don't have enough production experience to give you a solid answer. But if your shape animation exists on clusters and you haven't changed your cluster membership by changing your geometry - I'd hope that you're ok.

Anyways, hope it works out for you, and looking forward to seeing your character. :)

JDex
11-30-2004, 12:17 AM
Thanks Able...

I did in the end decide to go back in time and blow-away alot of work I had done... all the way back to pure modelling. I decided to add some additional loops for better animation control and improved details. I figured I should not test my NLEing abilities until I have a more robust background with how to get things done well.

I'll be showing the model at the base later on... infact it will be a rework of a character I worked on a few months ago.

Thanks again.

Cheers

withanar
11-30-2004, 08:38 AM
Probably not a bad idea what you did, though you probably didn't have to start from scratch (There are techniques for transferring envelope and texture data over from one related mesh to another). While XSI is pretty good for non-destructively tweaking just about anything, usually you want a clean, frozen model prior to the animation/enveloping phase of production.

There are 2 main reasons for this:
1- Performance: Will always be better with fewer live operators on your geometry. Every modeling modification is another operator which will ultimately slow down enveloping and texturing. Before you start animating, you'd want to make sure you get an optimal framerate.

2- Reference: Chances are, most production shots will require last second customizations, tweaks, and fixes. All these steps are easier to perform and track if their operators are separate from your base character setup. That way, when you return to a scene 2 weeks later and forgot why there's a move point operator in the stack, you can deactivate or delete it and see exactly why you had to put it in the scene.

I've found on occasion that some clever, last minute tweak & resuce techniques can become powerful creature setup techniques. Then it's almost impossible to start animating with a clean slate. :)

It might be fun to start a sticky thread called XSI M*A*S*H Unit where people can show off some of their last minute, procedural, rescue techniques. It never ceases to amaze me how creative some of these solutions get.


Thanks Able...

I did in the end decide to go back in time and blow-away alot of work I had done... all the way back to pure modelling. I decided to add some additional loops for better animation control and improved details. I figured I should not test my NLEing abilities until I have a more robust background with how to get things done well.

I'll be showing the model at the base later on... infact it will be a rework of a character I worked on a few months ago.

Thanks again.

Cheers

AdrianLazar
11-30-2004, 09:01 AM
HI JDex!

I've one question, how did you setup the uv's on your character? What's the workflow? I think that idealy would be to texture half of your mesh and then symmetryze the uv's... How you do that? I tried some scripts but they have lots of errors... In max was quite simple, you model you character using a mirror modifier (that will also well the points in the middle af the character) and you texture half of you character, the other half is automaticly textured... after that in the stak you put a skin modifier so you can do the envelope... at any time you can go back and change the uv's on one half and they will change also on the other half without affecting the enveloping... so in this way you can allways go back and change the uv's and obtain the same results for both parts of the model (not the same thinkg can be saied about the geomentry but that's an other story)
.....
an other thing... in 3dsmax7 they added under the uv's modifier an option to preserve uv's... mening that if you delete points, weld..whaterv the uv's are trying to preserv theyir position... and tha's very userfull... any ideea if that's possible in xsi also?
.....
and one last question :)
it's possible in the texture editor to select all the points and that weld them but with a real low valuem like 0.001 so that only the point that are exactly in the same position will be welded ?

(sorry for asking these questions in your thread and not helping you in any way because of my limited knowledge with xsi)

Ablefish
11-30-2004, 06:58 PM
(Thread Hijack in progress, all units respond)

Hey Oxyg3n,

If you're working with a half-mesh, you can always re-apply a symmetrize polygons and it will mirror your uvs along with any weightmaps or enveloping. Granted, it's not as easy as having a modifier that sits at the top of the stack, but with 4.0's new construction modes, I don't think it will be long before you can pin a symmetrize op at the top of the stack.

I think UV preservation is somewhat automatic in XSI. Open up a texture editor and see what happens when you add/delete points and edges. You might get some shaky results if you're deleting/adding border points on uv islands though.

And finally - check out Match UVs to line up stacked points in the Texture Editor... it has a tolerance setting.

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