View Full Version : L3Deformer - Collision Deformer

Dirk Bialluch
05 May 2011, 02:49 PM
L3Deformer - Collision Deformer (1/4)

The first L3 tool package for Maya we are going to release is an advanced set of deformation tools called L3Deformer. In its first release cycle the toolset contains 4 deformer. This video shows the Collision Deformer in action.

If you missed the previous L3 teaser you can watch them here

The Collision Deformer allows you to collide objects with polygon geometry, using projected collisions (directional, concentrical and cylindrical). This method does not require a dynamics simulation. Thus the collision effect is computed interactively while moving objects in the scene which provides very good control over the final deformation. Typical applications include indentations like e.g. footprints, shrink wrapping, contact animation, skin sliding (muscles, bones) and high viscosity liquid surface simulation. The deformer can also be used to sculpt the target geometry, using non elastic dynamics.

The Collision Deformer supports optional relaxing when applied to a polygon mesh. Relaxing affects nearby vertices and thus smoothes the collision effect. The relax function supports additional parameters to control surface tension and remove wrinkles.

Though the collision computation itself does not require a dynamics simulation, the Collision Deformer actually supports dynamics. Dynamics control the elasticity of the material you want to simulate. Using low elasticity the object will maintain its deformed shape. High elasticity allows the object to revert to its original shape. Elasticity timing and amount is controlled via an animation curve that provides very precise control.

In combination with the L3Library that ships free with the L3Deformer, the Collision Deformer can output its geometry displacement as vertex colors. These data can either be used to drive additional effects in Maya or during rendering. Thus you can e.g. use the collision depth as a mask to add scratches or other shading effects to deformed regions. The Collision Deformer allows to disable component displacement and output vertex colors only. Using this method you can "paint" with colliding geometry without actually deforming the target surface.

The Collider node comes with some extra attributes aside from specifying the type of projection. You can choose between inward and outward projection for concentrical and cylindrical projections. You can also specify which side of a polygon to consider during collision detection (front, back or both). Soft depth and resistance attributes simulate the effect of soft collision geometry that can be compressed to some degree. When using multiple overlapping collision objects you can also set the priority and weighting per Collider.

The release date of the L3Deformer package is scheduled for the end of May. More videos about the other three tools are currently in the making and we will post them here.

05 May 2011, 07:23 PM
this is looking good dirk... i'll follow along as you announce more.


05 May 2011, 07:34 PM
great! I love it :)

05 May 2011, 11:14 PM
Great stuff!


05 May 2011, 02:48 AM
Wow that was cool I could of used this in Max hundreds of times.

05 May 2011, 07:12 AM
Wow that looks absolutely awesome : )

05 May 2011, 08:00 AM
that's really looking great! finaly something usefull that we could all use or have use for 1000 reasons. Autodesk please take a look!! THIS is usefull!!
great work!!

05 May 2011, 08:02 AM
I agree, looks really really useful.

05 May 2011, 09:28 AM
Wow!! Looks like you will can work very fast with great options.
Wating to the release and the others tools!!

05 May 2011, 04:09 PM
Amazing Stuff!! Great work mate! Agree with BigPixolin, in Max this plugin would be even sweeter! :thumbsup:

05 May 2011, 04:49 PM
Yes, defenetly could use something like this in max!

05 May 2011, 05:07 PM
Veeery cool! I can see millions of applications for this.

I just have to say though, on a.. slightly unrelated note. That, having looked into softimage lately, it is silly how simple this thing would be to make yourself in ice.

05 May 2011, 08:04 PM
Wow, really nice....I am not a Maya user but that is awesome...I would love this in max!! hint hint! So many possible uses....

Dirk Bialluch
05 May 2011, 08:45 PM
Thanks for your comments. We do not yet have plans to support Max, but hey - never say never ;)

While the video for the next deformer is uploading, I'd like to share a quick test for those Maya user that use nParticle or fluid meshes:

nParticle settings on the right side are the same. The L3CollisionDeformer squeezes the mesh into shape and its relax algorithm + shrinking turned up about 50% equalizes the mesh and removes bumps caused by the particle blobbies.

We are updating information on Facebook ( more frequently now.

Stay tuned,

05 May 2011, 10:12 PM
really cool and i can't wait to test it out.
very good job.

EDIT: ahaaa, im just dumb at this nightly hour, nevermind ^^

Dirk Bialluch
05 May 2011, 12:51 AM
L3Deformer - Texture Deformer (2/4)

The Texture Deformer is the second of four tools contained in the L3Deformer package. The following video shows the capabilities of texture based deformation in Maya:

The Texture Deformer displaces shape components using Maya’s shading node networks. RGB channels of the texture output are mapped to XYZ displacement vectors. When deforming polygon geometry, the vertex normal can optionally be used as displacement vector with the B texture channel defining each vector’s length. Typical applications include geometry randomization, procedural modelling, liquid surfaces and more. Using a noise texture (i.e. Maya’s volume noise) you can turn the Texture Deformer into a noise deformer.

The Texture Deformer works with Maya’s 3D textures. 2D textures like image sequences or ramps can also be applied using projections. Texture networks can contain other node types such as utilities, but you cannot use textures of 3rd party renderers like Mental Ray or VRay. Any 3rd party texture nodes for Maya’s software renderer can be applied.

The Texture Deformer provides several different methods to compute the displacement vector. Using the distortion feature you can apply a second texture network to modify the rotation of displacement vectors. The combination of displacement and distortion texture sampling allows for a wide variety of deformation effects.

Using the "slope" feature you can modify the displacement of polygon vertices based on the delta between the vertex normals and a reference vector. You can also use an animation curve to control the slope, which provides detailed control over slope falloff.

Animation curves can also be used to remap the RGB values of textures. This method is way more precise and flexible than using Maya's ramps to remap colors. The L3Library that ships free with the L3Deformer provides a node, that allows to animate the time and scale of otherwise static animation curves. Thus the remap effect can also be animated.

We already started working on a library containing new procedural textures specially designed for deformation effects. We hope to be able to release this library shortly after the L3Deformer.

More videos that cover the remaining two tools will follow soon.

Release Date: End of May
Availability: Maya 2011, 2012 Windows

05 May 2011, 07:59 AM
again very very cool... -and very useful.


05 May 2011, 08:02 AM
Oh yes ! Can't wait to test it out, very nice tool witch will fill a lack in maya for sure :)

05 May 2011, 08:18 AM
That looks fantastically useful... If you do decide to develop the tool for Max I will give you whatever your heart desires (as long as your heart desires 'some money').

05 May 2011, 01:48 PM
This looks pretty awesome, just echoing the 3D max request!

05 May 2011, 05:20 PM
Amazing! Just sent it to my supervisor. The thought of NOT having to run cloth sims to destroy metal objects gets me really excited!

05 May 2011, 09:30 PM

05 May 2011, 10:21 PM
Amazing stuff!

05 May 2011, 08:18 PM
Looks great! So many applications for this! Bravo :)

05 May 2011, 09:45 AM
sweet, you're the man!

Dirk Bialluch
05 May 2011, 02:50 PM
L3Deformer – Curve Deformer (3/4)

The Curve Deformer is the third of four tools contained in the L3Deformer package. The following video demonstrates the capabilities of this deformer.

Watch on Vimeo (
Worm Path Animation Test (

The Curve Deformer can be used to project geometry from a user defined axis (cylinder) onto a nurbs or bezier curve. Typical applications include character animation, path animation, particle flows, text and logo effects, geometry shaping, motion graphics effects, architectural design, visualization and many more.

The deformer supports an optional alignment curve that is used to compute normal and binormal vectors and thus controls rotation of deformed components about the position curve's tangent vector. The alignment curve can also be used to scale geometry individually along normal and binormal using the distance between points on the position and alignment curve.

The Curve Deformer supports a host of placement options. This includes wrapping across the ends of a curve, linear curve extension, rotating, twisting and twirling around the curve, curve length equalization, scaling in normal and binormal curve space and more.

You can apply 2D/3D textures and animation curves to control component placement along and around the curve. These options provide very precise methods for radial/normal/binormal scale/displacement and twist/twirl effects. Both textures and animation curves are excellent detailing tools, even if the underlying nurbs/bezier curve does not provide that amount of detail.

Using remap curves the linear mapping from the original axis to the nurbs/bezier curve can be modified in tangent/normal/binormal space. This allows for very precise positioning of geometric components without the need to rebuild or modify the original nurbs/bezier curve. Remap curves can also be used to control effects such as particle acceleration.

The tool provides a set of display options to ease both setup and tuning. It can draw a marker at the position/alignment curve’s origin, draw the curve’s extension vectors, draw lines that show the linkage between position and alignment curve and display the original, non deformed input points.

Release Date: 30.05.2011
Availability: Maya 2011, 2012 Windows

05 May 2011, 05:36 PM
Great! It's like a super Loft on steroids!! Keep it up guys! Still wishing for a 3ds Max version! :beer:

Dirk Bialluch
05 May 2011, 12:58 PM
L3Deformer – Surface Deformer (4/4)

We are completing the L3 previews with the announcement of the Surface Deformer, the fourth tool contained in the L3Deformer bundle. The following video shows some features of this deformer.

Watch on Vimeo (
Watch on Youtube (
Lightstorm3D News (
Lightstorm3D on Facebook (

The Surface Deformer projects objects from a user defined plane onto a nurbs surface. Typical applications include text and logo animation, motion graphics effects, geometry shaping, procedural liquid surfaces, particle flows and many more.

When using the Surface Deformer as modelling tool you can combine the advantages of smooth, parametric nurbs surfaces with few control points and detailed polygon surfaces without topological restrictions. Thus modelling of complex shapes can be done easily on a world plane and is projected into final form using the Surface Deformer. Revolved objects like tires with complex tread pattern are a good example.

You can use 2D/3D texture networks and paint maps using Artisan to control geometry or particle placement and movement on the surface. Thus you can e.g. adjust thickness and displacement locally on the surface. You can also control the surface normal by modifying polar/inclination values or applying a bend effect. Textures and paintable maps are excellent detailing tools even if the underlying nurbs surface does not provide that amount of detail.

You can also use an optional second surface to control position and alignment of geometry/particles between primary and secondary surface.

Using UVN remap curves you can modify coordinate mapping from projection plane to nurbs surface which has a linear 1:1 correlation by default. Thus you can easily squash or stretch parts of an object or control acceleration when moving particles along a surface. These remap curves can also be used to even out (equalize) local nurbs surface regions without the need to modify or rebuild the nurbs isoparm/control vertex layout.

The tool provides a set of display options to ease both setup and tuning. It can draw colored lines to highlight the UV start isoparms of the nurbs surface and display the original, non deformed input points. When painting maps using Artisan the Surface Deformer uses an internal display method including drawing precision settings and automatic display switching depending on the map you currently paint on.

Release Date: 30.05.2011
Availability: Maya 2011, 2012 Windows
L3Deformer Bundle Pricing: 149.00€ (plus VAT) for a single, node locked licenses. Bulk license prices on request (starting at 2 licenses)

Dirk Bialluch
05 May 2011, 05:22 PM
We have posted a poll on Facebook ( about the OS you are using primarily to run Maya to get an idea how to prioritize future developments.


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