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Squeakypics
09-02-2003, 11:50 AM
Exciting stuff happening at ZBrush! (as tested at Weta):
http://www.pixolator.com/zbc-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=011757


Does anyone know if Messiah Studio supports this kind of stuff.
If so I might just have to buy it.

Sil3
09-02-2003, 12:29 PM
Right now it doesn´t, but if u ask for it to Lyle who knows hehehe :p

With the Messiah Develop being released it might even be somewhat easy to someone to write it for Messiah, but not me, dont know nothing about code :thumbsdow

Squeakypics
09-02-2003, 02:48 PM
It seems that it also generates 16 bit displacement maps - I'm guessing these would work?
Check out some of the beta tests:

http://www.pixolator.com/cgi-bin/get_user_thumbs.cgi?u=00003609

http://www.pixolator.com/cgi-bin/get_user_thumbs.cgi?u=00000001

The future is looking very interesting. Now, if only I can chose an app and stick with it.

rnb2
09-02-2003, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Squeakypics
The future is looking very interesting. Now, if only I can chose an app and stick with it. [/B]

Squeaky, you have no idea :) I've spent the last decade saying that, and have finally locked into a workflow and I'm *finally* animating.

The reason I bring this up here is that messiah:studio and ZBrush are two of the apps that are at the center of my current workflow, and I couldn't get by without them. These days I model primarily in ZBrush (exporting OBJ), pass through LW Modeler to tweak and detail, then animate in messiah. Works great and, best of all, it's a lot of fun - ZBrush in particular (once you get used to the interface) just gets out of the way and lets you model. It's the closest thing to clay I've ever seen on a computer, and it deserves all the credit for getting me moving after all these years.

Squeakypics
09-02-2003, 03:48 PM
mb2:
You give me hope. I am with you there 200% (If that were at all possible)
I'm a 2d animator and have been trying to attain that elusive 3rd dimension.

I started with Martin Hashes animation 2.4 - pretty unusable
I then went on to lightwave - Nice but no use at all for character animation.

I then got Messiah 1.57 but couldn't fathom the rigging and anyway it didn't allow me to see any mapped images which was the whole point of the project I got it for.

I then got ZBrush - cool, complicated and no real use for animation. - nice for doing heads though!

I finally got Animation Master - Actually managed to build and rig a character (Thanks to a lot of excellent resources and tutorials)but trying to make anything smooth takes a lot of time and the crashes!!!!!! Version 9/9.5 almost put me off 3d for life! That and the fact that It doesn't play with any other software is making me wonder. It does have excellent animation tools and the stability is a bit better in the current version.

Still, with all the new stuff coming out in relation to ZBrush and Messiah (Especially Joe Cosmans tutorials) I'm thinking that maybe I should upgrade to Messiah studio.

It is all too tempting, I have the credit card now all I need is the time!!

lmilton
09-02-2003, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by Squeakypics
Exciting stuff happening at ZBrush! (as tested at Weta):
http://www.pixolator.com/zbc-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=011757


Does anyone know if Messiah Studio supports this kind of stuff.
If so I might just have to buy it.

While the renderer will support displacement mapping, it's impossible (& undesireable) for us to duplicate all ZBrush functionality.

However, I don't think there's any problem with using ZBrush & messiah together. In fact, it should make a great combination. If there are any issues, just make us aware.

Best regards,

- lyle milton
- co-president
- pmG
- www.projectmessiah.com

rnb2
09-02-2003, 09:19 PM
Lyle,

I think he was just talking about the ability to use Normal Mapping (a slightly different beast than straight displacement mapping) techniques when rendering in messiah - duplicating all of ZBrush's functionality would be a tremendous waste, certainly.

As I mentioned in my post, I'm quite successfully using ZBrush with messiah currently, though I am using LW Modeler as an in-between stage. When messiah can use UV data in OBJ files, even that won't be strictly necessary, though it would still have benefits.

I did test messiah's handling of an OBJ exported from ZBrush with a UV map today, though I did use LWM to convert to LWO first, and reapply the UV map (very simple - load image, tell LW to use the embedded OBJ UV data, turn on Automatic Sizing, re-save). The model rendered just fine in messiah, although the OpenGL view could use some help - probably just needs to be able to display higher-resolution textures, as the image was 2048 x 2048, and there were a lot of artifacts in OGL, but not in the render.

I'll certainly let you know if I find any other issues, but so far the combination is working very well.

lmilton
09-02-2003, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by rnb2
Lyle,

I think he was just talking about the ability to use Normal Mapping (a slightly different beast than straight displacement mapping) techniques when rendering in messiah - duplicating all of ZBrush's functionality would be a tremendous waste, certainly.

As I mentioned in my post, I'm quite successfully using ZBrush with messiah currently, though I am using LW Modeler as an in-between stage. When messiah can use UV data in OBJ files, even that won't be strictly necessary, though it would still have benefits.

I did test messiah's handling of an OBJ exported from ZBrush with a UV map today, though I did use LWM to convert to LWO first, and reapply the UV map (very simple - load image, tell LW to use the embedded OBJ UV data, turn on Automatic Sizing, re-save). The model rendered just fine in messiah, although the OpenGL view could use some help - probably just needs to be able to display higher-resolution textures, as the image was 2048 x 2048, and there were a lot of artifacts in OGL, but not in the render.

I'll certainly let you know if I find any other issues, but so far the combination is working very well.

Thanx for the info.

Yes, I would imagine that 2048 images are not working in GL. I'll take a look at that.

-lyle

Geco
09-02-2003, 09:34 PM
afaik ORB (Open Render Bump) could be used with messiah:studio to generate normal maps for use with low poly models:
http://www.soclab.bth.se/practices/orb.html

http://www.soclab.bth.se/practices/pic\thumbs\orb_environment.jpg

and it's free! http://geocities.com/kl_aktuell/temp/smile.txt

Squeakypics
09-02-2003, 10:04 PM
Lyle: It is as rnb2 said about normal mapping. I'm a bit excited about the new features of ZBrush and just wanted to know if it will work with studio.

rnb2: Good to hear that you are using the workflow I am thinking of. Any tips and hints, especially about using Zspheres and the extent to which you tweak in LW?

Geco: Thanks for that. It seems any obsticles to me upgrading to studio are dissolving rapidly.

I suppose Studio does support rendering out in passes for compositing in after effects (or similar) ?

rnb2
09-02-2003, 10:20 PM
Lyle,

FYI, the image map exhibits similar artifacts in LW until you up the res on OGL textures to 1024, so it may not be necessary to support OGL preview at full resolution (actually, I think some people are using 4096 x 4096 pixel maps out of ZBrush these days, though I haven't tried it - I'm sure you're trying to avoid as much of that overhead as possible, so scaling the bitmap for display is reasonable).

I'm not that worried about OpenGL issues as long as the render looks good. I was pleased to see that it looks like it will be possible to model *and* texture in ZBrush, pass the model through LW Modeler for conversion, re-sizing, etc., and then pass that on to messiah with no issues. Once OBJ UVs are supported, it wouldn't even be necessary for people to own LW though, as I said, a more precise modeler of some sort makes a good companion for ZBrush. Something like Wings3D would probably work quite well, in a pinch.

Rick

rnb2
09-02-2003, 10:43 PM
Originally posted by Squeakypics
rnb2: Good to hear that you are using the workflow I am thinking of. Any tips and hints, especially about using Zspheres and the extent to which you tweak in LW?

Dave,

ZSpheres work great, as long as you take the time to get to know the underlying structure of how they work. The most important thing to get is a copy of Digit's ZSphere Widget from here:

http://www.cyber-webs.com/zbrush/scripts/zifwidget1.htm

It lets you create ZSphere models in a very structured way (helpful in the beginning stages, before sculpting begins), and also lets you set the resolution of individual ZSpheres after they are created (very helpful for adding resolution to individual spheres so that fingers and such behave more intuitively).

Also, try not to get overwhelmed with ZBrush - it can do a LOT of things, but if your main goal is to model (and perhaps texture) for external apps, a lot of the extra buttons that might seem overwhelming can be ignored the vast majority of the time. Once I've generated an Adaptive skin from ZSpheres, I spend about 90% of my time in ZBrush just pushing points around with the Move tool, just sculpting detail, a task for which it is unmatched in my experience.

The tweaking that I do in Lightwave is relatively minor - mostly small details like nostrils and eyelids, and changing surface names and assignments from what ZBrush saves out in an OBJ file. Also, messiah doesn't yet support UVs from an OBJ file, so it helps to be able to re-save in LWO format as I described above.

Lightwave is also useful for any operations that require you to work on parts of a mesh with a lot of control. ZBrush has no polygon selection tools at present, so it can be difficult to come up with a combination of settings that allow you to adjust the rotation of a finger without effecting the mesh around it. It's much easier to do this sort of thing in LW. Also, ZBrush lacks tools to add detail polygons by beveling existing polygons (as I said above, nostrils, eyelids). ZBrush's tools only really operate at the point level right now, so anything that is best done by manipulating individual polygons is best done elsewhere.

Hope that helps - if you have any other questions, just ask.

Rick

Squeakypics
09-03-2003, 09:32 AM
Rick:
Thanks for the advice. I've downloaded the script and give it a whirl when I get some free time. I can see that I am going to have to get reacquainted with ZB. Quite a pleasant thought - I remember when I got V1.2. I could spend hours just playing. I need to get some of that back into my 3D learning.

tjnyc
09-03-2003, 03:10 PM
To apply displacement maps in M:Render seems very possible without a plugin or added features by the pmG guys as long as sub-pixel or micropolygon displacement is supported. I believe this is what the zBrush developers are trying to achieve with little to no setup for the end users, which is currently the problem with other displacement map lo-res->hi-res implementation.

chikega
09-07-2003, 03:40 AM
Squeeky,

I also have ZBrush - what an interesting program - just takes time to learn it. You might want to check these small tutorias by Ken Brilliant - who also uses Zbrush, LW and Amapi in his work flow.

http://www.brilliant-creations.com/zbrushtutorial.htm
http://www.brilliant-creations.com/amapidemontut.htm

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