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Kaiser_Sose
10-01-2002, 02:09 AM
I have a question regading LW approach to organic modeling and its limiting of subpatch objects to three or four pointed polygons

I have been viewing the WIPs posted on the forum and noticed that other programs dont need an object to made up of three or four point polygons to ' smooth ' it

For example, I dont think there are the above limitations when in 3DSMax you perform a ' meshsmooth '

My question is, do you find this as an obstacle when modeling characters and other organic objects

Cman
10-01-2002, 02:27 AM
I can say I do not - but I'm not the most experienced. I'm sure there are occasions when a poly-point limit for SubD can be problematic, but there are solutions: MetaFormPlus, my own Subdivide lscript, splitting the polygon manually, etc.

btw, it's my understanding those progrrams split up those n-gons before the "meshsmooth".

Good luck!

Chewey
10-01-2002, 02:29 AM
Not really. Getting the proper layout of edge loops is more of a concern than not being able to use 5 sided polys.

CIM
10-01-2002, 02:45 AM
There are a zillion plugins/scripts to get rid of +4 polygons, if you're too lazy to use the Statistics Window or avoid them in modeling.

Not being able to Subpatch +4 polygons is generally only an issue to ppl. who can't model well (noobs).

As Chewy said, there are far more important things. As you get more experienced, you won't have these problems as much, if at all.

uncommongrafx
10-01-2002, 03:51 AM
As someone who has spent the last year and a half trying to get up to speed with lightwave, I would say this is a non-issue. There are lots of "rules" with any 3D software and you just have to adhere to them.
Initially, you just have to learn to read the stats panel. After that, hit Flay for all kinds of fixes.
I have to admit: Though this was 'odd' behavior initially, I have come to find I am quite cognizant(sp?) of how to avoid 5'ers and found plugs to eliminate them if I don't do it manually.

Again, a non-issue after one becomes used to the program.

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

wgreenlee1
10-01-2002, 04:46 AM
Nope,its not a limit....or limiting.

How many points do you want per poly?
10-20?

Kaiser_Sose
10-01-2002, 05:24 AM
cim, my fustratred friend, I was not asking how to select them to get rid of them. I was asking if it creates an obstacle in organic modeling methods :)

You just need to get your shot in, dont you

Thoth
10-01-2002, 11:45 AM
CIM: Could you maybe share few names of those plug ins that do the trick ?

Thanks

Cman
10-01-2002, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by Thoth
CIM: Could you maybe share few names of those plug ins that do the trick ?

Thanks

I named a few already.
MetaformPlus is good. (In LW)
PolySubdivide works. (On Flay)
EdgeTools(LW or DStorm)
Supersplit(Flay)
Split (LW)
Spikey (LW)

I think there could be a few more.

Good luck. :thumbsup:

dies-irae
10-01-2002, 06:12 PM
yeah, 4 polys limitation is not really an issue... actually, it's a blessing...
You have to get your polys to 4 points before smoothing them, wich makes you clean up your meshes and the result is always better than what you'd get with >4p polys.:lightbulb

I'm a lazy guy so i wouldn't clean up and reorder my mesh if i hadnt to!:shrug:

Lizard Head
10-01-2002, 07:04 PM
They were for me at first too, modeling in NENDO and importing into max was never a thought about n-gons,, but then I got into Lightwave 5.6 and was fustrated by which was the right way..I knew trigons were needed for animation, but then I would read from the " Masters" of lightwave that they only model in quads and it got confusing.... but now,, I get the object I need modeled in my head and I just do it, and it is never a thought about how,, and that only came from using this software over and over and over and over..........

roger
10-01-2002, 10:23 PM
Well, if you only use LW then you will get use to it. I used LW for years modeling characters, but now I do most of my modeling in Maya. It nice being able to model organic shapes with more than a 4-point poly sometimes.
Earlier this year I did a commercial in LW and it was "strange" not being able to tab a 5-point poly. I have seen some great characters made with both 3/4 point polys and with 4/5 point polys.
People that say "Not being able to Subpatch +4 polygons is generally only an issue to ppl. who can't model well (noobs)." don't really know what there talking about.


Roger
http://www.fxstation.com/monsterlab/

Kaiser_Sose
10-02-2002, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by Lizard Head
They were for me at first too, modeling in NENDO and importing into max was never a thought about n-gons,, but then I got into Lightwave 5.6 and was fustrated by which was the right way..I knew trigons were needed for animation, but then I would read from the " Masters" of lightwave that they only model in quads and it got confusing.... but now,, I get the object I need modeled in my head and I just do it, and it is never a thought about how,, and that only came from using this software over and over and over and over..........

You put it very well

I guess it will eventually be common place although its nice being able to model organic shapes with more than a 4-point poly sometimes as roger put it

Mike RB
10-02-2002, 12:44 AM
I model with any sided polys and as a last step I clen the mesh to only 3 and 4 sided. Its really not a big deal, especially with the speed incread you gain from using LW's modeling tools and workflow.

Mike

CIM
10-02-2002, 01:04 AM
"People that say "Not being able to Subpatch +4 polygons is generally only an issue to ppl. who can't model well (noobs)." don't really know what there talking about."

Well, it may be an issue for YOU. From this post, it looks like it's not an issue to anyone else. As was said, it's usually noobs that have this problem.

I've used Maya, as well as other programs with the mentioned feature. I'd take Lightwave's Modeler over them any day of the week.

proton
10-02-2002, 02:28 AM
I find that Quads are the best for Sub Patch...I try and stay away from Tris.....it's a good habit to have ...esp. since you are just getting started....my 2 cents!

wgreenlee1
10-02-2002, 02:44 AM
I agree quads rule,although I havent tried modeling a whole model with tris then subpatching but in other cases tris just crease too much.

Kaiser_Sose
10-05-2002, 07:06 AM
See all those five point polygons ... see the results

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/thefastest.imran/Wire507.jpg

yon dabuda
10-05-2002, 08:35 AM
honestly i think those n-gons are horrible. its a very careless way of modelling because the results of the subdivisions are less predictable. the model itself is nice, but the modelling is not that good.

anyways, if you cant model with just tris and quads as effortlessly as with larger polygons, then you should really try something else.

kidding, but modelling WELL just like anything else takes practice and strategy.

LyonHaert
10-05-2002, 09:15 AM
it's also eaiser (usually) to follow the topology of the geometry if it's all quads.

psil
10-05-2002, 01:15 PM
Well I think it is an issue. I've recently started using another app that allows ngons and I find I can sculpt the shapes I want much faster when I don't have to worry about keeping everything as quads. I clean up the ngons afterwards - donkey work that would have impeded the creative flow.

I still think LW is the best modeler, but the quad restriction is a serious shortcoming.

proton
10-05-2002, 02:31 PM
Faster isn't always better.......:thumbsup:

mbaldwin
10-05-2002, 05:58 PM
I find when blocking out your model, you shouldnt' get too paranoid about tri polygons. I'm talking rough here--low poly count and chunky, and the goal is to get a good feel for the massing of the object.

Typically, after that point, the detailing begins, and I metaform the object once, turning any tri polys into quads. then, aside from spining quad pairs to adjust for flow of topology, there isn't any problem.

I also think that one of the overlooked areas to becoming a better organic modeler is the REDUCTION of geometry. Modeling's additive side is the first thing people get the hang of, and the poly count starts expanding exponentially. But excessive geometry, while necessary for detail, becomes a pain when it comes to control of the object: creating smooth transitions and moving points/polys reliably. get to know the merge polygon command(shift 'z'), make friends with band glue(new to LightWave 7.5), and don't be afraid to pull out qemLOSS2 if you paint yourself into a tight corner. Basically everything under Construct>Reduce is there for your disposal.

Also, you can Subdevide only selected polys for areas of specific detail. Just remember to select the 5point polys that it creates along the detail edge and message them into quads(triple them and then merge them).

Kaiser_Sose
10-06-2002, 03:21 AM
Originally posted by psil
Well I think it is an issue. I've recently started using another app that allows ngons and I find I can sculpt the shapes I want much faster when I don't have to worry about keeping everything as quads. I clean up the ngons afterwards - donkey work that would have impeded the creative flow.

I still think LW is the best modeler, but the quad restriction is a serious shortcoming.

You put it very well and right to point

I am not expert at all but I have spoken to some long time LW artist from studios and a majority have told me that if it was not for the built in renderer this issue would have caused them to switch programs in a split second

Basically, from what I was told ... five point polygons are not bad, produce above and beyond great results, do not hinder a meshes flow, and are a bitch to correct on complex models

Faster isn't always better.......

William,

I have heard for the longest time now the arguement that ' time is money ' so when you add that to all the stunning stuff you see from other programs as well, I dont see your point

The bottom line is ... you can produce terrific results with five point polygons within your models and animations

LW decision to prohibit them by no means they are in and of themself bad or something to avoid

proton
10-06-2002, 03:31 AM
You can use 3 point polys in LW and SubD and I still avoid them .....Sometimes I use polys with more then 4 when I'm working but in the end I make sure that they are all 4.....The Best Models I've seen come out of LW....So I'm really not missing anything.....If they get put in Great...if not.....I won't lose any sleep....


I learned LW when u couldn't use 3 point polys in SubD....and I'm glad I did....I think it made me a better modeler....Just my 2 cents....:wavey:

Lizard Head
10-06-2002, 04:13 AM
mbaldwin Wrote>>>>and don't be afraid to pull out qemLOSS2<<<


I used Qemloss one time in LW56 and never used it since as it turned all my hard earned quads into tri's...I have always viewed it as "that evil anti-quad tool" ... is there a way to reduce poly count and retain quads with this tool ???.... Just asking cause im in a lazy mood,,,, guess I will go RTFM..

Kaiser_Sose
10-06-2002, 04:14 AM
Originally posted by proton
If they get put in Great...if not.....I won't lose any sleep....




but, you have been doing 3D for how long

yon dabuda
10-06-2002, 04:36 AM
you're not making your point. you can create >5 point polys, and for sub-d, it only takes 2 seconds to tripple them. most people have said that its not a big deal, and i agree. and i also trust that most of them have a lot more modelling experience then you do.
if you cant model without 5 point polys, its not the programs fault.
would 5 point polies make for better workflow? maybe for some. but probably make no difference to real modellers who have a little bit of strategy and spend time to make a quality model.
so the people that say they would switch programs in a heartbeat just because it doesnt support ngons sound pretty silly to me. and besides that, it takes 2 seconds to tripple you're ngons. if you cant do it in 2 seconds. then you just simply dont know how to use the program very well yet.

so just take the majorities reply as advice.
start caring about ngons when you cant model something without it.

proton
10-06-2002, 04:55 AM
Something to remember....there will always be that golden new feature.....but look at what has been done in the past without the feature you have right now.....

yon-
Agree with you 100%

CIM
10-06-2002, 05:17 AM
Like usual, the noobs are complaining because they are too inexperienced to do things the right way.

As was said, if you can't model with tris and quads, you're simply a poor modeler--or you're just too stubborn to learn how to model a more logical way.

Any decent modeler can spot the problem polys and split them up without really thinking about it. Sure, it took some time learning it, but that's part of modeling. You could also split them up with Cman's script or Metaform Plus.

Cman
10-06-2002, 05:19 AM
So here's a little script I worked up to maybe help whomever might be interested.


// TabNGons

main // this part saves whatever you did last
{
val=recall("TabNGons",0);
if(val==0) nVal=TabIt();
if(val==1) nVal=UndoIt();

store("TabNGons",nVal);

}

TabIt // this part selects >4 ngons and triples them, then toggles subpatches for you
{
selmode(USER);
selpolygon(SET,NVGT,4);

triple();

selpolygon(CLEAR);

togglepatches();

return(1);

}

UndoIt // this part runs if you've used this script before and undos
{
selmode(USER);
undo();undo();

selpolygon(CLEAR);
return(0);
}


So as you can see from the undo it's only good for a quick viewing. YOu must run again immediately after ward. If you RunScript - do some work - RunScript again, you will lose your work as you may have to undo all the way back.

Therefore I would not suggest replacing the "Tab" button. :)

Maybe you use it? Maybe it'll be helpful.
It's also zipped.

Lizard Head
10-06-2002, 07:00 AM
OHHHH so thats how it works around here!!... complain loud enough and looky, someone up's and writes ya a script


Say thank you Kaiser


TY Cman

DotPainter
10-06-2002, 02:31 PM
I can understand Kaiser's predicament. A lot of the problem comes with the modelling workflow that is designed into and therefore necessary when using modeller. Modeller has the tools to support this workflow and therefore keep all polys as 4 sided, however, when running the app as a new user, it is not always obvious when, where and in what combination to use the tools in order to get the desired effect. Therefore, it comes down to experience with the app and using it to tackle various problems.

That said, some of the tools that are not part of the "standard" modelling features could be explained better as part of a tutorial or something in order to shed light on modellers intended workflow. Many of these features, being nonstandard in that other apps dont have or name them the same, make it harder at times for others with experience in various 3d modelling programs to understand how to use the tools or more likely, when best to use them. Every app has it's own worlflow and the tools to support it. However, in some ways the tools purpose may not be obvious to a user, even after using the app for a while. Therefore, either better examples in the manual or more modelling tutorials covering specific things like muscles, edgeloops, morph targets and the like may help showcase some of the more misunderstood features in action.

I also think that modelling features have grown a lot in the past few years, providing so many ways to accomplish a task that it can become very confusing for someone new to 3d, especially without any formal 3d training. For hobbyists like me, I would love to be able to buy books that actually went into detail on the various ways to model, tools and styles. Since such books don't exist, it is pretty much up to the user to learn it either as trial and error or to get it from other users.

Cman
10-06-2002, 03:01 PM
Not that I'm trying to do Proton's job for him - ;) - but DotPainter, have you checked the Newtek tut page?
There's lots of modeling tutorials there for free.

Lightwave Tutorials (http://www.lightwave3d.com/tutorials/index.html)

Not to mention the dozens scattered around the web.

@Lizard Head,
I just wish I could call MetaFormPlus from script - it woulda been nicer. But I don't think you can.

proton
10-06-2002, 04:10 PM
Your not stepping on my feet at all...spread the word!:thumbsup:

mbaldwin
10-06-2002, 05:42 PM
Lizard Head wrote:

"I used Qemloss one time in LW56 and never used it since as it turned all my hard earned quads into tri's...I have always viewed it as "that evil anti-quad tool" ... is there a way to reduce poly count and retain quads with this tool ???.... Just asking cause im in a lazy mood,,,, guess I will go RTFM.."

There's a few ways. But the most reliable is Lightwave's native 'Reduce-Polygons' plug-in. It evaluates merging polygons by looking at shared planarity of adjacent polys. You typically wind up with n-gons as the result of the evaluation, but more often than not, provides you with a majority of quads. Just play with the threshhold value to get a result you can live with. It's also pretty speedy to boot.

there are a few 3rd party plugs out there that seem to match adjacent trigons into quads like so many pairs of socks. MergeTrigons comes to mind(Flay, baby). The problem with this one is the evaluation times can be staggering for even moderate amounts of geometry. best to surgically use it on smaller groups of polys.

And since I'm never short on wind, here's another nugget of advice I'd give people just warming up with Modeler. Practice ramping up geometry(metaforming, beveling, smoothshifting, edge tools)and then throwing it into reverse by reducing(merge polygons, reduce polygons, bandglue). Treat it as a dexterity lesson on a subdevided cube, like it was a lump of clay. work for speed. By using a non-project, maybe the pressure will be off. Part of being fluent is to also fold in good use of your statistics floating pallet: selecting and ditching garbage geometry as it comes up. work, baby, work!

And finally, Kaiser: the model image you posted was of a car(machine made, smooth contours). Not exactly what first comes to mind when using the term 'organic modeling'. For the example you gave, I believe patching by building a spline cage would be the way to go.

DotPainter
10-06-2002, 06:00 PM
I really appreciate the tutorials on Newtek's site and other's around the web. They are invaluable as a resource. The point I was trying to get at is that there is no comprehensive book or books that really gets down to this level of detail when it comes to modelling ( and I have several for LW). Since I do not do this for a living, something like this would be a great addition to my already extensive 3d library of books. Otherwise the things many take for granted I would have either picked up in school or learned on the job.

For now, I try to only make "clean" meshes by sticking to tools like smooth shift and subdivide for adding detail to my organic models. But you can only get so far and learn so much doing it after work or on weekends. :scream:

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