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View Full Version : Splines, love 'em or...well, don't use AM


PJC
01-25-2003, 06:13 AM
I think sub divs are great, but damn, I LOVE AM splines! As an old NURBS user (Alias PA, Studio, and Maya) and a Cinema 4D/LW sub-div user, I still dig my Hash splines over polys.

If you don't like Splines, I don't see why you would use AM in the first place.

Just a thought.


- patrick j. clarke

Hookflash
01-25-2003, 06:42 AM
Originally posted by PJC
If you don't like Splines, I don't see why you would use AM in the first place.


Because of it's price & it's superior animation tools. I don't see why A:M can't have both splines & polys (although, I'd prefer they ditch the whole "spline" thing altogether).

Squeakypics
01-25-2003, 11:40 AM
Splines all the way for me! I spend most of my working life drawing and splines just make more sense to me, I mean, you actually see what you get while you are doing it.
I would like an easy way to get rid of creases though (esp for animation) Bias handles scare me.

zandoria
01-25-2003, 02:46 PM
One of the books in my library is by Peter Ratner "3D Human Modeling and Animation". He basically covers some modeling techniques with Nurbs and splines pointing out some of the problems inherent in each.

Because of the nature of spline patches, mainly that you are manipulating the surface directly, creases are very difficult to avoid.

tweaking the bias handles on the control points is not the same thing as tweaking the gama. You've probably heard the warning to leave the gamma alone, but don't think that you are supposed to leave the bias handles alone... actually, that fact that you can tweak the gamma, is a good reason to learn how it works so that you can knowledgeably use it to your advantage.

That is a big part of modeling with splines! Compare it to drawing in Illustrator: Those paths in Illustrator are Bezier Splines, you wouldn't try to draw a shape without controling the length and direction of the handles...

If you are frustrated with creases and with spline modeling, then before you give up and switch to polygons or a method that manipulates the surface indirectly like NURBS or Sub-division surfaces--or call for them to be eliminated entirely (heaven forbid!)!

I'm of the opinion that the better you understand the nature of the tools that you are using, their strengths and limitations, the better your work will be with them.

If the nature of Hash patches doesn't suit you, then this program is probably not the right one. If it's just for the animation tools, I think some of the bigger programs like Softimage are starting to copy them... eventually even the programs like Maya, XSI, Max,etc. will add the animation features that you like in A:M. :p

Natess44
01-25-2003, 03:59 PM
I like splines just fine. Even though it takes alot of work to learn how to use them I like them and I don't think Hash is going to remove them and that's a good thing.

Roger Eberhart
01-25-2003, 04:39 PM
One of the cool things about Lightwave's SubD modeler is the ability to view the actual surface while you're modeling. In this respect it has one up on Wings3D. SubD is just less work than patch modeling and the results are prettier. I don't worry about the direction of the splines. I don't worry about internal patches. I don't worry about more than two splines crossing and causing a crease. In short, less worries, prettier results. Just compare the models from Newtek's gallery to AM's gallery (disregarding the quality of the renderer). Patch modeling was king before SubD's, now it's just a relic of a bygone era.

Natess44
01-25-2003, 04:51 PM
If A:M had a spline subd type modeler that would even be better(looks like splines but is really subd's). Either that or if they fixed the problems with the patches.

Squeakypics
01-25-2003, 05:22 PM
tweaking the bias handles on the control points is not the same thing as tweaking the gama. You've probably heard the warning to leave the gamma alone, but don't think that you are supposed to leave the bias handles alone... actually, that fact that you can tweak the gamma, is a good reason to learn how it works so that you can knowledgeably use it to your advantage.

I have to admit that I am fairly new to Hash but as far as I am concerned splines seem the way to go.
Ah. so much to learn, so little doccumentation ;)

JB
01-25-2003, 05:23 PM
Hash Splines beget creases and odd 'lumps', I just can't take it anymore. :eek: :surprised :surprised :eek: :eek:

Nurb'd
01-25-2003, 07:06 PM
splines are fine

at a pro level you better learn polygon (subd technique) level or forget it

polygon + subd not only own splines but make x10 better models

not supporting sudd's as a standard is the kiss of death in this industry

Wegg
01-25-2003, 11:10 PM
Here is one thing I have learn't over the years.

Martin Hash can't see the bumps caused by his spline implimentation. He can't tell the difference. I kid you not. Splines are brilliant in concept, but the execution of them in the renderer is sevearly lacking.

And the thing is. . . he could quite easily point to really great artists like Joe Cosman or Scott Young and say. . . "See. . . these guys don't have crease in their models. Its not the software, ts the artist!"

He doesn't realize just how much work goes into a model that isn't "creasy" looking.

All of that went away when we moved on to Lightwave's SubDs.

I say keep the splines. . . but just interpret them to polygons better and smoother at render time. Hell Arctic Pigs does a better realtime interpretation of AM splines than AM itself!

Stychentyme
01-25-2003, 11:18 PM
I say keep the splines. . . but just interpret them to polygons better and smoother at render time. Hell Arctic Pigs does a better realtime interpretation of AM splines than AM itself!

----------------------------------------------------------------

I agree here. I really like splines. I found it way easier modeling in splines rather than Polys or Sub-d's.

But, I have spent much more time than needed trying to smooth a crease. Especially if it's a 3-point, or 5-point patch. I try to use 4-pointers as much as possible, but it would be nice to be able to use all types of patches without having to worry too much if it's gonna cause a big crease.

Stych.

dbissell
01-26-2003, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by Squeakypics
Splines all the way for me! I spend most of my working life drawing and splines just make more sense to me, I mean, you actually see what you get while you are doing it.
I would like an easy way to get rid of creases though (esp for animation) Bias handles scare me.

I come to 3D and animation via Computer Science and Mathematics. I am now trying to get my life geared up and going as a TD/Rigger. I am not, in a classical sense, skilled at drawing. To rig I need models...to model in A:M I need to use splines...I can make a model with splines, but my productivity and speed go way way down. I don't work well with splines. But I have a program that I bought and would like to use because of it's features...Well, I found out too late about the feature list / bugs.... kinda disappointed... but moving on! :)

My brain works better when I model with Poly's and SubD's. I can work as if I was sculpting. I push, pull, pinch, add, and correct as needed. My largest stubling with Splines is just figuring out where to start! Trust me it isn't a no brainer for me. :)
Then I need to remember to make sure I don't get 5-point's... and 3-points ... and creases and..... in the wrong places.

I don't work well with splines and all the needs that go with them. I can work with splines... but not as effeciently as I could. A choice would be nice.

By only having A:M Splines Hash Inc might be droping a whole bunch of potential customers and 3rd party support that could help set them up for many many years of profits.

-Dan

Nurb'd
01-26-2003, 02:39 AM
Hey DB

not many people have the guts to come right out and choose to want to be a TD. :applause:

if you got the mindset then try to learn Houdini.. set up with the TD in mind.. the hardest software to learn IMO
No matter what software you might use now or in the future.. I just thought I would pass that on. A good TD for Houdini is always wanted.

Houdini Master runs in at $17,000. However they are running a super learning edition program where you can use it for free. Output has a very small watermark and the software is not limited in any way. Also have a free online course going at

http://sv2.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/onlc_desc.php

--

http://www.sidefx.com/products/apprentice/index.html

Just thought I would pass it on. I do it in my free time. It is a go at your own pace

from the page

"To introduce 3D artists from around the world to Houdini, Side Effects Software Inc. is proud to bring you the Houdini Apprentice program, which gives you access to the same creative power used by the best animation professionals in the industry such as Electronic Arts, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Disney Feature Animation.

Houdini Apprentice is unlike any other learning package. Once you have downloaded the non-commercial Apprentice Edition software, you can use it to run ALL products in the Houdini family, including Houdini Master, Houdini Escape, Houdini Select and Houdini Halo. All your work can be saved to a special Apprentice file format so you can develop real projects then render with unobtrusive watermarks."

dbissell
01-26-2003, 03:03 AM
Originally posted by Nurb'd
Hey DB

if you got the mindset then try to learn Houdini.. set up with the TD in mind.. the hardest software to learn IMO
No matter what software you might use now or in the future.. I just thought I would pass that on. A good TD for Houdini is always wanted.

Hey Cool! Thanks for the links! I'm going to look into this!

-Dan

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