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jwr38
06-22-2006, 09:18 PM
When I am looking at many demo reels I notice that they have a shaded model and as it rotates the wireframe slowly comes into view. I also have noticed that even though the model is smoothed only the base wireframe is given but the wireframe wraps seemlessly around the model.

Now you most likely have guessed what I am going to ask next. How do you do this? :)

thanks for any help that you can give.

YourDaftPunk
06-22-2006, 11:44 PM
There are a few ways to do wireframes (mapping, hardware render buffer, mental ray contours, vector), but I personally prefer Maya's Vector Renderer.

I had not thought about doing the wireframe smoothed like the model in Maya till you had posted it. A lot of renders on reels have the highpoly wireframe overlayed, and though smooth, it isn't as clear as a smoothed low poly frame. So here is a video showing Vector Rendering and a sweet smoothing trick:

(I just had to try Macromedia Captivate...)

http://www.lickmypixel.com/demo/video_tutorial.jpg
(http://www.lickmypixel.com/demo/smooth_wire_demo.htm)

For those that don't want to download, here's what you do:

------Vector Setup-----

1) Create a camera with a white environment
2) Harden your model's normals (Edit Polygons > Normals > Soft/Harden = 0)
3) Apply a white Surface Material (set Out Color to white)
4) Go to Render Globals and switch to Maya Vector (you may have to turn it on in Windows > Settings > Plugins) and enable the "Include Edges" option. The wireframe will render black on white, but it won't be smooth.

------Smooth Wire Trick-----

5) Now open the UV Texture editor and right-click to select UVs. Select them all. Go to Create > Sets > Quick Select Sets and create a set called "UVs"
6) Select your model in object mode and Poly Smooth.
7) Edit > Quick Select Sets and reselect your UVs.
8) Ctrl+right-click to "Select Loop" and now your original edges are selected but smoothed. Harden those edges only and they will be the only ones to render.

That's it. Layer your wireframe rendering over your model rendering using the mulitply mode (availible in all video/2D apps) with layer opacity to your taste. Enjoy.


-shawn

jwr38
06-23-2006, 06:06 AM
sweet. thanks a bunch.:)


edit: My next problem is to animate it. how do I do this? Keep in mind my only experience is with maya - I know how the animation goes but no idea ho to put it all together. how do I render only part of it so it slow adds the wire on? also, how do I add the layers together from an animation?

thanks for any help.

kiwiJay

Karlfucious
06-24-2006, 04:16 PM
Great tutorial. Much better than the way I was doing it. Thanks for sharing.

As far as how people animate the wires you need to render out the animation in passes and then composite them together.

jwr38
06-25-2006, 03:01 PM
Great tutorial. Much better than the way I was doing it. Thanks for sharing.

As far as how people animate the wires you need to render out the animation in passes and then composite them together.


Do you know of any tutorials where it shows me how to put it all together?

eodmpink
06-25-2006, 06:07 PM
Does the wireframe have to be exactly true to the mesh? I'd use mr contours because you can alter the wires uv layout and render in one pass.

YourDaftPunk
06-25-2006, 10:11 PM
Rendering in two passes is a much, much better idea. When you have your turn arounds done, if you have worked in two passes, you are then free to adjust the timing of everything without re-rendering. You can change the opacity of the wire, adjust its fade in/out, etc. I can't imagine the extra man hours spent if I had done my demo reel in one pass!

Additionally, Vector Render is quick enough. It will be nothing compared to your models' lit final gather/AO/whatever render. And jwr38, you don't need a tutorial. Bring your image into any 2D program like Photoshop, GIMP (free), After Effects, etc and put the wire frame render in a layer on top of your lighted render. Change the top layers blending mode to multiply (every package in the world has this). That's it--> 2 steps! Optionally adjust the opacity of the top layer to have it fade in and out as need. Enjoy.

-shawn

tel
06-25-2006, 11:10 PM
very usefull thanks!

Karlfucious
06-26-2006, 12:16 AM
Depending on what look you are after is how you would composite it. Also It depends on what compositing program you are using. Personally what I would do is just use the inverse of the vector render wire frame pass as a matte channel for another pass. You could create a high specular black blinn pass which looks pretty nice or you could just create a high incandescent pass to give a nice glowing wire effect. It all really depends on the look you are after but by using it as an alpha channel it gives you a lot more freedom of what you can do.

jwr38
07-01-2006, 01:56 PM
Rendering in two passes is a much, much better idea. When you have your turn arounds done, if you have worked in two passes, you are then free to adjust the timing of everything without re-rendering. You can change the opacity of the wire, adjust its fade in/out, etc. I can't imagine the extra man hours spent if I had done my demo reel in one pass!

-shawn

Hi Shawn,

thanks for the tip on just multipling the two together.

I am not sure how to set up passes as I have never done this before. How do I go about having one as the wireframe (in vector render??) and the other as my model?

Karlfucious
07-01-2006, 02:58 PM
Its probably easiest to just make a copy of your scene and set it up for the wireframe rendering. If you are using Maya 7 it has the render layers function but since you are manipulating the normals to get the subd look to your wireframes you still may want to use it in a seperate scene. Since it renders so fast it shouldnt be a problem doing another batch job.

jwr38
07-02-2006, 01:11 AM
I used your method shawn to make my own video tut (It has helped me remember it). basic it is your's with sound :argh:

My tut (http://jamesonthemove.com/tutorials/smoothOnShaded.avi)

thanks for your help. I am starting to get a few things right in my head. If you see anything that I could do better let me know.

tharrell
07-02-2006, 04:37 AM
My method is very, very easy and actually a bit of a cheat.

Once I'm done with my UV layout, I save a UV snapshot, thicken the lines a little bit in photoshop, then use that as a texture map on my object with either a lambert or blinn, depending if I want to show highlights on the contours.

You can do hybrid wireframe/clay FG shaded renders with this approach.

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