XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : modeling "spherized" mesh?

07-08-2003, 12:45 AM
Any idea how to model something like the "spherized" mesh of a microphone?



07-08-2003, 12:49 AM
Unless you're getting super close, you're prolly better off mapping the mesh. If you did want to model it, then there are lots of ways to do it. To be most accurate, I'd think that you'd prolly want to create splines, following each of the wires, and rail extrude a box, then subD...

07-08-2003, 02:04 AM
How about using Spherize on a heavily subdivided box? Or play with tessellation perhaps on a ball...

Steve Warner
07-08-2003, 02:41 AM
Kretin is right. Texturing this is the way to go unless you're doing some severe close up, and even then, texturing would probably still be the best solution. Owen Demers has a section in his Digital Texturing & Painting book on creating a wire mesh. It's similar in some ways to the mesh on the microphone.

If you try to model it, there's no easy way, so be prepared for a lot of work. I'd do the spline thing Kretin suggested, but I'd skip the box/subpatch and go direct by rail extruding a disc. It will render faster than a slew of subpatches, and will avoid the "clay" look that comes from subpatch objects.

You might also try the Beh-truss plugin. It would require some fiddling to get this exact look, but it might work.

07-08-2003, 08:31 AM
*wonders if there's a way to build just one of the intersecting rings and cloning it...*

Steve Warner
07-08-2003, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by NanoGator
*wonders if there's a way to build just one of the intersecting rings and cloning it...*
Probably not. The "rings" are actually formed from the weaving of a wire mesh. Each wire goes over the other, then under, then over and under again. The wires towards the bottom are smaller, and therefore go over and under fewer times. The wires at the top are longer, and go over and under more times. As a result, cloning wouldn't be that effective as the wires would still need a lot of editing.

W Wade
07-08-2003, 04:06 PM
Use the magnet tool to push or pull through a wire mesh.

Take a little time and you will do better than this.

07-08-2003, 05:01 PM
W Wade: Not bad. Using this method at least gives you a half sphere. :thumbsup: I will give it a try.


07-08-2003, 08:42 PM
if triangles are good enough, this'll do...


07-08-2003, 08:55 PM
You could make the triangles smaller on that ball and when the right size... combine the tris into quads and then bevel them like in that pic... Would be a nice quick and dirty lookalike... Maybe a little twist would make the curves nicer...

07-08-2003, 09:08 PM
Hmmm... I'm afraid the tesselated sphere with the beveled triangles isn't good enough. Steve Warner is right: The characteristic look comes from the wires going over and under each other.


07-08-2003, 09:26 PM
I agree, the weaved mesh gives it the correct look...

07-08-2003, 10:55 PM
I don't think texturing will do it justice, the mapping is too difficult imo.

Much easier to model with HD pumpit imo.


07-08-2003, 11:03 PM
How do they build one of those in real life?

W Wade
07-08-2003, 11:12 PM
Real life they take a woven wire mesh, and push it into a form. Ball shape on top and cup shape on bottom. The micophone is two halves making one whole. The wire mesh before being forced into the mold is just a plain old woven mesh like you see on your window screens but thicker.

Lets see what you get!


07-08-2003, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by NanoGator
How do they build one of those in real life?

LOL... I asked myself the same question and tried to find some manufacturers of wire mesh (example (http://www.wireandwiremesh.com/wiremesh/Wire%20Mesh%20For%20Microphone.htm)).

07-08-2003, 11:35 PM
Ya know, I'd be tempted to make the weave model (very easy) and then use motion designer in Layout to form it around a sphere, then 'save transformed'.

07-08-2003, 11:39 PM
Ok, here's what I've got so far. (Please bear in mind that I've been using LW for about 2 weeks now. I'm not yet familiar with all the modeling tools and tricks.)

The easy part is to model the plane wire mesh:


But I have problems to get a perfect half sphere with the magnet tool. Also there's a lot of stretching in the lower parts:


Steve Warner
07-09-2003, 06:31 AM
Well, for two weeks, you're doing pretty darn well! :)

From here, select the magnet tool, right click in the top view (looking down on your mesh) and drag out a region of influence. Make sure that it does not go all the way to the edge, as you will want some extra room. Now, make sure your falloff in the numeric panel ('n' on your keyboard) is set to Radial and your Preset is set to Ease In. That should help round out your area.

07-09-2003, 11:33 AM
There is a plugin under the "constsuct" ==> "Additional" tab, called "Wrap_sphere". It does it with one click.

Create your wire mesh (like allaboutkeys example)
...run the plugin and play with the inner and outer radius. The onley draw-back is the screwed up polars.

have a look...this took a couple of minutes to create...I'm sure with a bit of work, you'll be able to pull it off.

07-09-2003, 01:14 PM
wow great! looks like a usefull plug-in!

07-09-2003, 02:51 PM
For this kind of things you can use nurbs projection( see the image below, this is done in Rhino) for define the nurbs curves. I havnt find the way to bring this curves in LW ( I have strange result with dxf export, I have no prob to import this curves in Max or Maya...If you have a tip let me know. I have try also with 3dexploration).

With LW you can use the slice from Yildizgorur Plug for build your spline within a shpere( you do it twice x,y)
After this you have to close your splines and smooth it.
Then you can "rebuild" your curves with the path divider plug.
A ll this will give you a good splines structure
Hope this help.

07-09-2003, 02:54 PM
the little render is done in Max with renderable Splines...


07-09-2003, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Werner
There is a plugin under the "constsuct" ==> "Additional" tab, called "Wrap_sphere". It does it with one click.

Hmmm... I don't get any reasonable results with this plug-in. My wire mesh is about 800 mm x 800 mm. It doesn't seem to make any difference which radius I use. I always get a messed up bunch of polys.

Could you perhaps send me your object file (before the "wrap_sphere" action) and the settings you used for the inner and outer radius? Thanks in advance.

Ok, the mesh has to be on the XY plane (my mesh was on XZ). Now I think I can get somewhere.

07-09-2003, 04:06 PM
Labuzz: What is the "Yildizgorur" plug-in? Couldn't find it on flay.com.

The wires in your mesh don't go over and under, do they?

Steve Warner
07-09-2003, 04:35 PM
allaboutkeys: I wouldn't really suggest using the Wrap_Sphere plugin. It will make a sphere out of a planar object (see my latest tutorial in Keyframe Magazine), but it's not going to give you the structure found in your original post. It will give you something that's visually similar, but not identical.

If you look at the weaving of the mesh, you've got one series of bands running front to back, and another series running left to right. The Wrap_Sphere plugin will take your planar mesh and pull the top and bottom together to create poles. That's not the structure of this mic.

I worked on this last night a bit and was able to achieve the proper structure using splines. I started with a grid and then pulled it up using the magnet tool with the settings I described above. I massaged it with the stretch tool until it was in the shape I needed. Then I created two splines from the center of the mesh. One ran front to back along the center. The other ran left to right along the center. I used the drag tool to adjust the over/under weave. I then created an alternate pair of splines with the exact opposite weave. I copied/pasted and moved these into position using the original stretched mesh as a reference. From there, I used Cman's Align To Rail tool to quickly extrude a disc along each spline. It took about an hour to do, but I got the exact look of your original reference photo.

Hope this helps!


07-09-2003, 05:45 PM
This is where you can find the plug slice( the site is down right nw I dont know why):
The man who have done this script:

No my curves dont go over and under but this just a matter of doing a rebuild with a uniform parameterization based on lenght (equal segments between each points in the curve)then you select 1/2 points and do a scale.
I will try maybe but I have no time right now.

Actually the fastest way is to be able to bring the curves from rhino in LW ( you can trim curves easely and have better control on the curves ). Let me know if you find a way to do this with dxf or other formats.

07-09-2003, 06:38 PM
Please stick to a LW-only solution. I can't afford another software package like Rhino or 3DS just for this wire mesh. Thanks!

07-09-2003, 06:57 PM
I adjusted my wire mesh to get a higher density of the woven structure. Then I applied the Wrap_Sphere plug-in. The disturbing thing is (as you can see on the image) that the wires have different thickness. Is there a way to fix this?


07-09-2003, 06:59 PM
Remember that the veritcal area of a sphere is half of the horizontal area. So your ratio should be 2:1. If your mesh is 1 meter wide, it should be .5 meters tall. :)


07-09-2003, 07:08 PM
That probably happened because of what I just mentioned about the 2:1 ratio. Take your source weave mesh, and extend it out until it's 2:1. (Don't stretch it, make more weaves...) Then try the spherize plugin. I have a feeling that'll fix it. :beer:

W Wade
07-09-2003, 11:29 PM
There is always more ways than one to skin a cat!

It seems that it's not a matter of if LW can do this, but rather do I know how to do this in Lightwave? Y

You are getting close and for two week should be proud you are getting around in the programe so well.


07-10-2003, 12:08 AM
As Werner said, if you want the exact shape/pattern of the original, then a spherize plugin won't work unless you put a hell of alot of time into planning it. By that stage you could have done it with splines and rail extrude 10 times over :)

You could however use the spherize tool to work on a flat mesh of splines to then rail extrude... that would be less planning, although still tricky as the path of each wire isn't purely horizontal/vertical, but more like the seam of a tennis ball...

Steve Warner
07-10-2003, 08:57 AM
Ok, here's what I came up with. It's needs a little more tweaking, but you get the idea.


It's after 1:00am and I need to get to sleep, but I'll post the basic steps tomorrow. :)


07-10-2003, 09:33 AM
NanoGator: Yep, the 2:1 ratio did the trick! :thumbsup: Of course, there's the distortion around the poles. But the "Wrap_Sphere" technique is really quick if you don't need 360 degrees close-ups.

I cut it into half so that you can see the weave better:


07-10-2003, 11:10 AM
Steve Warner: Wow, that's pretty cool. I tried to follow your last description but I'm still fighting with the magnet and stretch tools to get a perfect half sphere. Now I can't wait until you are awake again. ;)

When I started this thread I didn't expect so much help. Now all the forum gurus are here to support me. That's great! Thank you all! (It must be boring to watch a newbie doing the first steps in modeling.)

BTW: I'm planning to model a character with a microphone as body and head (yes, I know, this was done hundred times before). So the head doesn't have to match a "real life" microphone. Besides that I see this as an excellent exercise to get familiar with some basic modeling tools.

Steve Warner
07-10-2003, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by allaboutkeys
[BI tried to follow your last description but I'm still fighting with the magnet and stretch tools to get a perfect half sphere. [/B]
My bad. :blush: I found a better way last night than using the stretch tools. I'm working up a mini-tutorial right now and will post it as soon as it's ready. :)

Take care!


P.S. For two-weeks worth of experience in LightWave, you're doing extremely well! :thumbsup:

Steve Warner
07-10-2003, 05:03 PM
Here's a 0.5 megabyte animated gif. Sorry for the lack of details. I usually take the time to explain things better in my tutorials, but I've got a pile of stuff to do here at work. :rolleyes:

Hope this helps!



07-10-2003, 05:31 PM
Steve Warner: Lack of details??? You must be kidding. It's a perfect mini tutorial. Great job! :thumbsup:

Let's see if I can catch up with you (well, may take a while...).

W Wade
07-10-2003, 05:33 PM
Steve Warner,


I think Newtek ought to pick up this tutorial and add it to their site. Your first response was to use texture maps, but I am glad you went on to really work this out to what might be the best soulution.


07-10-2003, 06:00 PM
The website www.m2estudios.com seems to be down. Is there another place where I can download the "Align to Rail" plug-in?

Steve Warner
07-10-2003, 06:39 PM
Thanks, guys! :wavey:

Allaboutkeys: You should send a PM to Cman asking him to send it to you. He usually pops in and out of the forum, so it shouldn't take long to get a response. :)

Glad you all liked the mini-tutorial!


07-10-2003, 08:54 PM
Steve Warner: I managed to follow your method to the point where the "Align 2 Rail" plug-in is needed. Now I have to wait for the plug-in. But I'm pretty sure I'll be able to manage the last steps, too. Thanks!

07-10-2003, 09:11 PM
Man Steve this was a cool tut. Thanks for sharing it! Its also the first time I've actually seen somebody use Volume for anything. Thats one thing I like about you. You know how to and actually use alot of tools most of us choose ignorantly to ignore.

07-11-2003, 01:58 PM
The LW newbie proudly presents... ;)


Here's a quick test render:


I never would have been able to accomplish this without Steve Warner.

07-11-2003, 02:29 PM
Bravo, bravo! I love it when people stick with it and finally get what they want. Good job. I have been paying close attention to this thread because I could not figure a decent way of doing it mayself. I got that plugin from CMan and it works great.

Hey Steve I never paid attention to the author of the two 'Map to Sphere' articles in KeyFrame. It was those articles that finally pushed me to get a subscription to the mag. Nice work. Thanks

Steve Warner
07-11-2003, 04:08 PM
Sheesh, guys! You're going to give me a massive ego! Thanks for all the kind words. I'm just glad I could help. :)

Allaboutkeys: Our Smartfilter at work is blocking your images. :banghead: I'll check them when I get home this afternoon. I'm really happy this worked out!

W Wade: If I get a little more time, I'll put an HTML version together and see if Proton wants it. :)

Aurora: Wow! Thanks for the bevy of compliments! I'm glad you liked the Keyframe tutorial. Part one got garbled at the typesetter, but I've been assured that corrections will be listed soon. If you run into any troubles with that, don't hesitate to email me.

As a side note, Cman's site is back up again! If you use his plugin on this tutorial, be sure to send him a big thanks for providing such a useful tool at no cost.



Steve Warner
07-12-2003, 01:19 AM
Allaboutkeys, your final object looks freaking awesome! Great job! :beer: I'm looking forward to seeing how your character develops. Please keep us posted!



07-14-2003, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by Steve Warner
Please keep us posted!

I've started a new thread (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=75599).

CGTalk Moderation
01-15-2006, 03:00 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.