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anoe_nomus
09-22-2003, 05:42 PM
why does everyone model characters with Polys, is it just easier to texture, i know for a fact that NURBS yield cleaner results and are generally more realistc...
is it because polys are easier than say a patch model? or is it for animation reasons where poly have less data to calculate and render....
enlighten me (i've never really modeled with Polys)

... i like patch modeling but almost every 3d character in the gallery are made of polygons... should i switch??
:buttrock:

Laa-Yosh
09-22-2003, 06:00 PM
I can only speak for myself...

It is easier to work with, because there aren't as many restrictions. The topology can be whatever I want, and thus it can actually be cleaner thatn NURBS. There's no need to fight with stitching either.
The workflow is also better, I'm not working with surfaces and shells, but with volumes - I don't have to concentrate on the small details in the beginning.
There's a lot of trickery with the poly tools that I'm not sure you could do with NURBS surfaces and curves.
The UVs can be independent of the topology, so texturing is also easier - I can have only 1 texture map for the whole model, instead of 1 per patch.

Should you switch to it just because of these? I don't think so. Should you try it? Definitely.

joie
09-22-2003, 06:05 PM
You donīt have to switch if you donīt want to.
Imagine everybody goes everywhere by car, and you go on bike..., should you switch because of that fact?, you really wonīt.
Because you are confortable with your bike, itīs dangerous, more than cars, but... you like it.
This case is the same, if you model like you want to with NURBS why are you going to switch?
NURBS are lighter than polys, NURBS deform better than polys, NURBS are textured better than...., well, nowadays you can texture polys as good as NURBS.
Now I ask you..., why are you painting with oil instead of colour pencils?, is oil better than colour pencils?

anoe_nomus
09-22-2003, 06:34 PM
Polygons also have their share of flaws, although texturing each patch on a nurbs model is tedious work, so is laying out UVs for let's say a 500 000 + poly model... besides you can do things like attach fur to a single patch and it will flow well with the surface, and it does indeed deform better than poly.... but i'll give polys a try simply because of the heavy toolset available in maya.

Marcel
09-22-2003, 07:16 PM
Modelling with polys is easier, the simple fact that nowadays 95% of the organic models in the gallery is built using polygons+subdivisions is solid proof for me.

You don't have to switch if you don't want to, but I think that if you do make the switch that you will like it a lot. At first you might think that you lack the control you have with NURBS, but that is because polys react a bit differently.

As for the texturing of 500.000 polyons being a rather tedious task I agree. Luckily you can take a shortcut: texture the low-poly cage and the subdivided result will inherit the UV coordinates.

ambient-whisper
09-22-2003, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by anoe_nomus
but i'll give polys a try simply because of the heavy toolset available in maya.

umm. mayas toolset for polys isnt that great unfortunately.
its never been aliases focus to have a great poly toolset. ( one reason why split poly tool sucks, and bevel is broken )

puzzledpaul
09-22-2003, 07:57 PM
Maybe consider trying Wings 3D - it won't cost you anything and you might be pleasantly surprised by its toolset.

pp

Peter Reynolds
09-23-2003, 06:36 AM
I've modelled with both polys and nurbs for a while.

There are some things that I find are really fast to model with nurbs - often objects for a TVC.

But for characters, I've found polys to be a lot faster to get exactly what you want.

Also, I used to sculpt a fair bit with clay and stone. I've found with polys I can get closer to my natural workflow - going for mass, form and volume and leaving details till last.

puzzlepaul is right. Wings is a great for poly modelling. I use it with maya everyday. The obj import/export between wings and maya works great. You can also set wings to use Maya camera mode if that's how you are used to navigating 3d space.


wings (http://www.wings3d.com)

Marcel
09-23-2003, 08:32 AM
one reason why split poly tool sucks

Ambient: why do you think the split tool sucks? Coming from 3dsMax I absolutely love Maya's split tool and Maya's way of working with edges (the ability to delete edges without creating a hole in the surface).

Wings looks great, but unfortunatly it doesn't support a Wacom tablet. When I try to pan or rotate the whole viewport starts spinning out of control.

BazC
09-23-2003, 10:27 AM
"Wings looks great, but unfortunatly it doesn't support a Wacom tablet."

Set your stylus to mouse mode and it should work fine! :o) - Baz

ambient-whisper
09-23-2003, 10:53 AM
cuz mayas split tool wasnt made( actually quite a number of its tools ) werent made with intuitivity in mind.
snap to vertex? edge midpoint? being able to use it while in other manipulation modes?( ie softselection,etc )? how about going backwards on its own created edges, and when you undo to be able to go back one edge at a time..?
how about it updating every single edgecut you make? without having to press enter?

thats a few examples of why i feel mayas split tool is rather crappy. its good until youve used something better :)

ive been rather unfortunate of being spoiled early :(

one reason why wings3d doesnt support a wacom is because once your in camera mode your mouse cursor is always in the center, and you can spin forever without your mouse moving outside your window. that is why a Wacom will always freak out.

anyhoo. like i said. mayas polytoolset+ the system around it is rather weak because alias never really focused on it. take a look at the edit menu. its a complete mess. the tools havent been made smart enough to adapt to your current selection. so when you pull out the menu and use the merge multiple verticies comand when you have edges what will happen? nothing. so why is the tool there when you dont need it? why not just have a single tool for merging instead of 3. have the tools execute the function depending on the selection you make, instead of having you go through long ass menus, where only 1/3 of the functions that are there are available to you at any given time.

its because maya was never made with poly modelling as an important focus. theres a number of poly tools in the game package ( and man the install for that thing absolutely sucks ). why havent those tools made it into the core of the package ;)?

Neox
09-23-2003, 01:39 PM
@ambient whisper: http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=82130 , working bevel, working solid chamfer, working softselection, working cut etc. and all for maya ;)

Peter Reynolds
09-23-2003, 02:46 PM
I'd have to agree with Ambient-whisper as far as maya's poly tools. Maya's biggest strength is animation.



Sorry to take this OT:

Originally posted by ambient-whisper


one reason why wings3d doesnt support a wacom is because once your in camera mode your mouse cursor is always in the center, and you can spin forever without your mouse moving outside your window. that is why a Wacom will always freak out.


We know that the problem with wings and a wacom does not apply to mouse mode. However I have also found a situation where I get no spinning in pen mode. On a machine with an ATI card I get a spin everytime. On a machine with an Nvidia card I get a spin if the scene is empty, but as soon as I put an object in there, I don't get the pen mode spin problem.

Any thoughts ambient? anyone? ferris?

Marcel
09-23-2003, 03:30 PM
Hmmm, certainly don't have so much issues with the cut tool.

I can snap to vertex by starting on the correct edge and sliding the cut to the vertex and I can undo 'edge by edge' by pressing 'backspace' (if I'm still in the process of cutting).
What do you mean by having to press enter after every single edgecut to see the result? I can see the result while I am cutting.

I probably sound very defensive, but that is certainly not my intention. I've only switched to Maya two months ago, I'm not a hardcore Maya zealot that refuses to admit any faults in the program.

As for the non-context sensitive menu's in Maya, I completely agree. It's rather silly to have different commands for extrude vertice, extrude edge and extrude face.
That's why I have made a simple popup menu bound to a hotkey that has for example a (scripted) collapse or extrude function that works on all components. I would indeed be better if those function would work with every component by default.

Set your stylus to mouse mode and it should work fine! :o) - Baz

You are right, but setting the stylus to mouse mode kinda defeats the purpose of using a tablet..I hate the mouse mode :)
After Peters comment I will have to check it again, since I've just switched from an ATI card to a Nvidia...
I definitely want to try Wings's edge sliding plugin.

puzzledpaul
09-23-2003, 05:40 PM
<< try Wings's edge sliding plugin >>

This plugin is one of several excellent plugs made by Clacos for wings - but they have not been updated for recent releases.

Please bear this in mind if you want to use same - you'll have to go back to 0.98.04 / 06 (approx - not sure exactly)

Fortunately, the latest Wings version (9816a) allows for multiple installations - so you can use a previous version alongside the current one.

pp

swag
09-23-2003, 10:48 PM
ambient-whisper "split poly tool sucks" i think the split tool was not the best example for maya leak in poly tools - the split tools are one of the best in maya 5 there are softselection funktion in the split tool - have a look in the tool attributes and with BPT maya is the Nr.1 poly modeler out there :beer:

ambient-whisper
09-23-2003, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by swag
ambient-whisper "split poly tool sucks" i think the split tool was not the best example for maya leak in poly tools - the split tools are one of the best in maya 5 there are softselection funktion in the split tool - have a look in the tool attributes and with BPT maya is the Nr.1 poly modeler out there :beer:

oo forgot to say. the whole commit tool thing, and seeing it update.

when i mean update. say you see the surface below your cage . when you use the split, you wont see the surface below update until you commit the tool. this makes it so that the split tool is merely temporary until you commit. which means they are just virtual edges, so you cant back up right after creating. you have to go through your splits first.. commit. then go back once you turned those virtual edges into real ones.

and even with byrons tools maya isnt saved from not having a good interface for modelling to begin with. ever tried modeling the seam ( where the model is mirrored ) to edit the profile without having to precisely select each vertex? you can do a rectangle select but what if verticies are really close by . your gonna have to do a lot of zooming, and trial and error selections in order to fix that profile in side view. in some apps the further you get your cursor away from the model , you can select verticies that are further away in depth. you dont need to be anywhere near your selection to select something.

like ive always said. having every single flavour of split, every tool you can think of doesnt mean the modeler is any good.

silo for example when it was out had enough tools for modelling. all you really need is some basic tools. but its workflow was really bad in the first version. which made it a rather poor modeller.

same problem in maya. even if you had all the tools you wanted.. the mechanics behind it dont support the refined poly workflow, that can be found in other apps. which is why when everyone was concerned about copying mirais tools in teh past, they missed the 100000 other little details found in the application that werent obvious right away. but really improve workflow, consistency accross the application. which in turn makes it easier to manage and learn.

swag
09-24-2003, 12:07 AM
ambient-whisper - tell me the soft out there with a better interface than maya (maya is a chameleon and it can change the colors) 3d software is like a girlfriend u have stay a while to know the strengths and weaknesses :p
ok the mirror sucks - is there a mirror :)

ambient-whisper
09-24-2003, 04:35 AM
customization is nice and good. but it shouldnt be used as an excuse to not refine/finish and give people tools.

when you buy a car, you dont want to customize it to no end... for like 1/2 a year so you can drive do ya? you buy it so you can get from point a-b quickly. it serves its purpose.
when someone relies on plugins, what if you go from job A- job B? and they have their custom setup, where you cant just modify your maya to how you like to work, in order to fix its short commings? what if they wont buy you a plugin you really like using? ( not all plugins are free. )

its this reason i believe that these tools should be a part of the package and shouldnt be broken from the get go. and not have users have to fix a tool like bevel.







( plus: its fun to bash maya )

Marcel
09-24-2003, 08:22 AM
Calling the Maya polytools 'broken to begin with' is way too harsh, then you are indeed bashing Maya for the fun of it. How long have you worked in Maya?

I would like to hear more about the workflow that makes Mirai/Nendo/Wings to much better to polymodel.
When I analyse what functions I use 95% of the time I come to a very short list:

Move vertices/edges
Split faces
Collapse/Delete vertices/edges
Merge vertices

These are all very 'low-level' functions, what is there to improve on these? Can you explain what makes Mirai so much faster?
(And I don't mean telling some neat tricks that you can do but actually never use except when you want to impress people in a 3 min timelapse video :) )

Laa-Yosh
09-24-2003, 09:42 AM
Modeling is about 25-35% of using the topology modification tools. There's at least 5% scene management (mirror, smooth, check result - then get back to modeling, etc.).

The rest is about selecting elements of your model and applying transformations to them.
In Maya you're pretty much stuck with picking vertices slowly by hand and moving them around. No real proportional editing (like Mirai magnets), not a big palette of transformation options like where to place the transform pivot and which local coord system to use. Max at least offers plenty of options, even if it's a bit clumsy to manage and sometimes it'll break down too.
But there's no way to make use of all the tricky transformations that Mirai is so well suited for. Like move elements along this elements local normal. Rotate around the axis that goes through this selection. And use a magnet operation on the transform, too.

It might have okay tools, especially when enhanced with scripts, but the whole interface is not streamlined for modeling. You spend a lot of time in obstruct menus (like to toggle keep polys together when extruding), or to write scripts so that you can reach simple commands with keyboard shortcuts. You cannot simply detach a poly shell from an object because Maya can only separate every part of it into a new one. Again, write a script to handle this?

I have yet to try XSI, but I'd say that Maya has the most complicated and slow interface of all the big apps out there for modeling. It has some pretty nice scene management and animation tools and shader editor and so on which make it good for the rest of the production pipe. But modeling is better in both Max and LW (although I find the latter very weird ;).


All this however will not stop anyone from making pretty models in Maya as it's the artist that really matters. Look at the work of Peter Syomka for example. All that Martin says and I can only agree with is that there are far better apps for modeling than Maya...

ThirdEye
09-24-2003, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by swag
tell me the soft out there with a better interface than maya (maya is a chameleon and it can change the colors)

If you want i can show you 1000 different kind of guis for Cinema4D for example, with 1000 different skins and 1000 different kinds of elements disposition. Do you think pressing a spacebar to obtain a waterfall of options is the right workflow? I agree with everything Martin and Tamas already said. 3DS Max is not bad at all for modeling, great number of tools and good non-modal implementation, i'd like to see something like a bridge tool tho. Lightwave becomes really very fast at modeling if you start to use the shortcuts (otherwise it becomes a nightmare imo), XSI is quite intuitive but it lacks some basic tools (there are some scripts to integrate them tho). C4D lacks ngons but it has a quite fast workflow, especially if you use the rightclick menu (very well organized and 100% customizable) and/or the shortcuts. I have to say i use some plugins such as Mesh Surgery by mdme_sadie with it tho, it adds interactive partial/total edge/point/facelooping, interactive bandsaw, interactive split poly with projection split, superflange, hinge from edge, sculpting tools a la Artisan...

Miyazaki
09-24-2003, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by swag
maya is a chameleon and it can change the colors
Which software can`t do this? :) BTW the most flexible interface Iīve ever seen is implemented in Modo. It`s not out yet, but the presentation was nice.

The Cross
09-24-2003, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by anoe_nomus
why does everyone model characters with Polys, is it just easier to texture, i know for a fact that NURBS yield cleaner results and are generally more realistc...
is it because polys are easier than say a patch model? or is it for animation reasons where poly have less data to calculate and render....
enlighten me (i've never really modeled with Polys)

... i like patch modeling but almost every 3d character in the gallery are made of polygons... should i switch??
:buttrock:

When i first started, i was more into Nurbs. It took awhile before i gave polygons the time of day. The Modeler in me is more of a patch modeler, although i've come to like polygons a great deal, i usually find myself planing things out in polygons more often than i do Nurbs now a days.

In terms of Character animation i used to model them in Nurbs then convert it to polygons. Polygons when binded to a skeleton, will bend and flex at the edges, where as Nurbs would have a tendancy to break, If it was a machine rather an organic character, then Nurbs would work fine in terms of joint rotation. In that case it made more sence to me to parent the Nurb surfaces to the skeleton instead of binding them.

Getting into Polygons...

The only way to learn how to use polygons is through your own exsperiences with them. The trick is getting it to smoothen the way you would exspect it to,through what you know of how they act. a basic cube would turn into a smooth sphere if you smoothened it 3 times. For practice you should take a cube, and find a way to smoothen it without it changing shape too much. You do that by cutting the polygon. Meaning adding edges (lines) to it and not amputating it. And it needn't a dense mesh for you to complete that quick session.

Look at Polygon modeling as more of extruding edges instead of extruding faces when your attempting to make something. Extruding faces only seems to come in handy from time to time from my point of view. And model the mesh in quads and not tri's. Say you modeled what appeared to be a wide s shaped plainer, with dents in it. And it was composed of 4 sided faces it would smoothen with a very organic feel.

When i have a hard time pulling off a shape with polygons, i reach for the Nurbs and do it the good ol fashion way. In this case i figure Nurbs are the best way to get exactly what you want. Some things are just easier to pull off with Nurbs.

All 3D packages have thier strong points, And if they were perfect, then they'd never be able to make improvements.

And Ambient Whisper...There is nothing wrong with making a comitment when all it is, is taping the Enter key. If you want to fall back on the line you are creating, then simply hit enter then start again on the other side of the line. I'm with you when you say your preference of split poly tools are better, but maya's split poly tool gets the same end result with little to complain about.

Marcel
09-24-2003, 01:43 PM
It might have okay tools, especially when enhanced with scripts, but the whole interface is not streamlined for modeling. You spend a lot of time in obstruct menus (like to toggle keep polys together when extruding),

I don't agree, I hardly have to dive into a menu at all. When I see that I use a function often I put it in a popup menu, so I can do allmost all my modelling from the viewports itself. Another hotkey hides all menus, so I have a very clean work area.

The 'keep polys together' options is something I've toggled on two months ago and haven't touched it since.

You cannot simply detach a poly shell from an object because Maya can only separate every part of it into a new one. Again, write a script to handle this?

You do not have to write a script to do this, simply use the 'extract' command to detach polygons from a mesh.

But let's not turn this into a useless appwar by talking about small issues. I can give you countless of small things I don't like about Max (I've used it for over 4 years) but that doesn't help anybody a single bit.

I'll spend some more time in Wings3d, to see what this whole superior workflow is all about :)

Ibox
09-24-2003, 03:31 PM
be careful when testing out Wings3D... because once you really get the hang of it you will find it very hard to go back to anything else eh... :D

really :D

swag
09-24-2003, 04:48 PM
nice to see that ppl have different views - i have seen some apps and maya is my taste sorry for that - and i love the wings3d workflow its simple and straight to use but i miss all the power of maya sometimes
mondo looks very nice but have u worked with it?
the aw mirai vids looking awesome but where is the lack cause out of the race

so i think this discussion is off topic
the subject is "why does everyone model charaters with polys"

no app war :)

Peter Reynolds
09-24-2003, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Marcel
you are indeed bashing Maya for the fun of it. How long have you worked in Maya?


Well I can't speak for others, but I've worked with maya since version 1.

When maya first came out their push on Nurbs was so heavy they were trying to imply that polys were irrelevant and that other apps were inferior and primitive because they used polys.

Maya has since had to backtrack and make better efforts towards polys, but it always feels like a band aid solution rather than a well thought out workflow like those found in wings or mirai.

Still there are a lot of great things about maya, so I use it with wings and get the best of both.


Anyway, getting back to topic >

Perhaps another question to ask to get at the heart of the matter is:

Why would you NOT want to model a character with NURBS?

spakman
09-26-2003, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by ambient-whisper
umm. mayas toolset for polys isnt that great unfortunately.
its never been aliases focus to have a great poly toolset. ( one reason why split poly tool sucks, and bevel is broken )

True to a point. I used to hate Maya when I started using it. I wanted to do everything in Nendo, or Mirai, or PT to XSI.

The loosness of that split poly tool was something weird to get used to, but now I wouldn't want any less control. I love eyeballing my polysplits. For me this is what allows such freedom in edgeloop experimentation. In fact that's also how I end up getting what is usually gotten through beveling (which does suck in Maya BTW)

To me the polysplit is almost exactly like Hash's add spline tool, without all the caveats.

And I just can't get past the gestural nature of the creation process. If you choose, you can work Maya like playing an instrument.

FWIW, Maya is hands down my favorite polygon modeller.


*Edit: I will say that if you do go the Maya route, get rilly friendly with the closest mel scripter. ;)

spakman
09-26-2003, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by Peter Reynolds
Anyway, getting back to topic >

Perhaps another question to ask to get at the heart of the matter is:

Why would you NOT want to model a character with NURBS?

This is a valid question.

I would say that for characters, polygons are the way to go. (*Edit: this is because you can be very true to actual topology - this helps out the lighting TDs. For film, I wouldn't know.)

For architectural work, NURBS are the way to go, even if it is to be converted to polys later.

gustavogf
04-18-2004, 09:07 PM
Here's a tip: search for time-lapse modelling videos. Most of them shows the artists modelling with polys, and you can look how it's done with various different artists.

Try looking in CG Talk search engine.

dpvtank
04-19-2004, 01:15 AM
for architectual stuff, wouldn't working with CAD be best?

But beside that, I have to say that wings3d workflow is just soo...clean. I have used Maya in the past and I found it very very cluttered. It was almost painfull to model in it. It just had tooo many things to work with. I just need a few simple things to make my models.

But then again, I have to remind myself that Maya isn't an modelling only application like Wings3d or Silo or Clay. It is a 3d package. It has everything. And not the best of everything, but hell, its trying.

Wings3d and Silo and Clay and Nendo and stuff were born as modelling applications and that was their only purpose. So ofcourse they are better then an application which is devoted to soo many things other then modelling.

Hexodam
04-19-2004, 01:44 AM
Originally posted by Marcel
one reason why split poly tool sucks

Ambient: why do you think the split tool sucks? Coming from 3dsMax I absolutely love Maya's split tool and Maya's way of working with edges (the ability to delete edges without creating a hole in the surface).

Wings looks great, but unfortunatly it doesn't support a Wacom tablet. When I try to pan or rotate the whole viewport starts spinning out of control.

in max, instead of pressing delete when removing edges press backspace :)

vef
04-19-2004, 05:18 AM
I have a Wacom Graphire, and when I paint I use the pen, but when I model I use the mouse and all is fine... different strokes for different folks I suppose, but I believe in the right tool for the job, as in whatever works... right ?

Workflow issues are the demise of most apps in one sense or the other... I would totaly have to agree with Ambient when I read one has to hit enter for an op for instance.... same same in Amapi Pro 7 , and uggggg, this coupled with a few other irritating non intuitive workflow issues really puts a damper on what is otherwise a great set of tools... the sweep/extrude tools in Amapi Pro 7 are superb, but the workflow sucks so much that I would be better off using Wings3D for most things, which I do :)

Also, while we are on Wings3D here, for the slide along edge tool, yes this is found in a plugin that works with previous, much older version(s), however, in the latest versions, if ya need to slide you can do so... select your edge you wish to slide, and instead of using your hotkey for move, right click to get the menu, then right click on Move, then click the perpendicular edge you wish to slide upon, then right click to invoke and slide away :)

As for the topic of this thread, well, make the models anyway you know how, and create scenes so as to advance into other areas of 3D, and try out animation to gain yet other skills, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty of it all, workflow is your best friend for modeling anything, and there are certain methods and toolsets which are just plumb better than others for any and all things concerned, in any facet of 3D... and when some very good modeling dudes all suggest that poly/SDS is the way to go, and that certain toolsets are better than others, it just might be that there is a solid understanding and reasoning for this... learn from this and more over apply would be my suggestion.

LuWeeWu
04-20-2004, 08:52 PM
I prefer polys to nurbs for characters. Seems like I can get more done faster with polys. I use nurbs for planes, cars, and etc... But since sub-divs poped up its rare that I use nurbs in my characters (except for hair or clothes)

I dont know if its the same for everyone else, but I go from modeling to texturing to riging to animating and etc... all the way to rendering with just one app... Maya. Ive been using it for about four years now ( originaly used 3dsMax ) and I do have gripes about its tools from time to time but overall It makes my job easyer and quicker. The only thing that really HATE about it is Its default renderer being crappy ( but mentalray solves that )
I have one custum shelf and I hardly ever have to bumble through menus when Im trying to get something done. If its not on the shelf than I rarely need it.

I think what it all comes down to is the individual and not the software

Rei Ayanami
04-23-2004, 02:30 PM
game engines shoot themselves in the head if they have to deal with NURBS, only the very latest can support a form of Sub-d (matrix). So all the game people have to use polys, its the only option. although now normall mapping is getting popular.

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