Unity-C4D Observations for Maxon

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  03 March 2018
One thing I suggest Maxon adds to it's FBX export option is scale conversion. Max/Maya feature that. This is the current Maxon export dialog. Screen grabs to come...
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Last edited by IceCaveMan : 03 March 2018 at 04:20 PM.
 
  03 March 2018
Donavan,

I would like to request Maxon add 'Unit/Scale' conversion to it's FBX export. Unity can do conversion, but it would add a convenience to c4d users and give us parity to Autodesk's export.




For Comparison:


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  03 March 2018
Originally Posted by artzfx: @ Donovan - For C4D's fbx exporter to work properly with Unity, it needs a Flip X axis option like we have in the .obj exporter. Currently all our fbx models from C4D come into Unity facing the wrong direction which makes extra work dealing with object movement and rotation.
Sheesh! Unity sure has been changing their import code a lot lately.
That's one reason why I wrote my own .fbx exporter a while back. Maxon takes far too long to catch up with their changes. But to be fair I can't expect them to do that either.
I've always thought that the .fbx and .obj exporter code should be included in the sdk so we can tweak it as needed. That way the users wouldn't be so helpless.

-ScottA
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  03 March 2018
I agree with using the substance C4D Unity workflow ( and for consistent looks between vfx packages like Maya, Houdini, Max...). It has been a pure joy using substances in Unity, the look can be tweaked on the fly inside a headset. However I still value the awesome noises and other world space nodes found in C4D for use in SP SD. The ability to bake world space nodes without seems into 2D bitmaps with the C4D bake tag (along with proper UVs on your model) provides seamless results that triplaner nodes sometimes can not achieve, high contrast geometric patterns reveal triplaner seems.
 
  03 March 2018
Donavan, I've achieved a comfort level with the C4d-Unity pipeline.

But I ran into a gotcha tonight and couldn't find any path to success. Specifically the alpha in materials would not transport into Unity. I tried various approaches and looked around online.

Can you convey a methodology? Is this a limitation w/c4d's exporter or with FBX?
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  03 March 2018
Originally Posted by IceCaveMan: But I ran into a gotcha tonight and couldn't find any path to success. Specifically the alpha in materials would not transport into Unity. I tried various approaches and looked around online.

Can you convey a methodology? Is this a limitation w/c4d's exporter or with FBX?

I think that's a limitation of Unity's FBX importer. I believe the only channel they support is the Diffuse Color. Everything else needs to be set up in Unity. Could be wrong, but that's what my research indicates.
 
  03 March 2018
Originally Posted by Donovan Keith: I think that's a limitation of Unity's FBX importer. I believe the only channel they support is the Diffuse Color. Everything else needs to be set up in Unity. Could be wrong, but that's what my research indicates.

Thanks Donavan.
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  03 March 2018
Donavan...This isn't a c4d-unity pipeline suggestion, but...

This week I saw Unity's ProBuilder and PolyBrush. I can see why vertex painting could be a growing trend in 3d. It is an ideal complement to the low poly look that is so popular. And of course...No fussing w/UVs.

I also watched a video of an artist that works exclusively with UV Painting.

I did see Rick's Cineversity video about how you can do it in c4d, but the approach was limited and a bit tedious.

I could see instances where...for low poly designs... one might want to author assets in a tool like this rather than c4d. I don't think Maxon wants to concede that territory. Or miss an important opportunity. This feature...can't wait long, IMO.

Video links are queuedfor relevancy:
https://youtu.be/HUeQeSB45PI?t=31s
https://youtu.be/JQyntL-Z5bM?t=7m24s
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Last edited by IceCaveMan : 03 March 2018 at 12:45 PM.
 
  03 March 2018
Donavan

As you may know, Unity 2018.1 Beta features an xpresso-like shader graph that makes it surprisingly easy to build one's own shaders.

I wonder if this could be utilized to create a c4d friendly shader in Unity, where there would be more seamless interchange with c4d materials.

If true perhaps Cineversity could provide a Unity shader to download, facilitating better c4d-Unity functionality.

I saw node options in the Unity Shader Graph for 'Metal Reflectance' as well as Specular...two things you wouldn't get with the standard Unity shader and seemingly more c4d friendly... There are options for color space conversion, inversion, remapping etc, perhaps this might work?

There are 3 noise nodes, so perhaps if c4d users limited themselves to an appropriate noise...that could transfer over?
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Last edited by IceCaveMan : 03 March 2018 at 10:55 PM.
 
  03 March 2018
Another suggestion I have is to repair what appears to be the broken c4d file Unity import for users with C4D application instances that are managed by a Licence Server.

I work in a small university program where our students build applications using C4D and Unity. Our lab computers don't have standalone C4D licences, but instead connect to our C4D licence server on application start up. This system works really well but doesn't play nice with Unity.

When students create assets in C4D and save the .c4d files into their Unity project's Assets folder, and then switch into Unity, the expected auto .c4d to .fbx conversion always fails. I have observed the students' docks (MacOS) and can clearly see thatUnity attempts to launch theUnity-C4DToFBXConverter; but the application fails and the student is presented a small message to that effect in Unity. I know that it is somehow connected to the C4D licence server because I can change one of our C4D instances licensing from our licence server to my stand alone licence, and poof! theUnity-C4DToFBXConverter suddenly works.

It would be amazing to have this fixed so that we didn't have to constantly export FBX files manually from C4D. It's so wonderful just to be able to flip back and forth between the two environments quickly and have the assets update automatically in Unity.
 
  03 March 2018
Originally Posted by mCorrin: Another suggestion I have is to repair what appears to be the broken c4d file Unity import for users with C4D application instances that are managed by a Licence Server.

I work in a small university program where our students build applications using C4D and Unity. Our lab computers don't have standalone C4D licences, but instead connect to our C4D licence server on application start up. This system works really well but doesn't play nice with Unity.

When students create assets in C4D and save the .c4d files into their Unity project's Assets folder, and then switch into Unity, the expected auto .c4d to .fbx conversion always fails. I have observed the students' docks (MacOS) and can clearly see thatUnity attempts to launch theUnity-C4DToFBXConverter; but the application fails and the student is presented a small message to that effect in Unity. I know that it is somehow connected to the C4D licence server because I can change one of our C4D instances licensing from our licence server to my stand alone licence, and poof! theUnity-C4DToFBXConverter suddenly works.

It would be amazing to have this fixed so that we didn't have to constantly export FBX files manually from C4D. It's so wonderful just to be able to flip back and forth between the two environments quickly and have the assets update automatically in Unity.

I will add that I think Maxon under sells the c4d-Unity pipeline. As I've learned about it I'm really impressed. It's ability to seamlessly convert c4d file features into Unity is really slick. With Unity 2018's ability to extract all assets from a PreFab...the interplay will be even better. I think they should be touting their "Unity-c4d" bridge.

I understand why a University setting does have unique needs but wonder if it's not as much a license issue as a technological issue. The two programs seem to "talk to each other" during conversion.
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  03 March 2018
AFAICT. MAXON has no involvement with Unity whatsoever.
Unity looks for the most recently run version of C4D (on the PC it's here: APPDATA\Local\Temp\user-UnityC4DFBXout).
Then it installs a plugin that was created by Unity...NOT MAXON in that version's plugins folder. Which converts the C4D objects to .fbx files using the FBX SDK.

AFAICT. Everything is being done by Unity team. Not MAXON.

-ScottA
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  03 March 2018
Originally Posted by Scott Ayers: AFAICT. MAXON has no involvement with Unity whatsoever.
Unity looks for the most recently run version of C4D (on the PC it's here: APPDATA\Local\Temp\user-UnityC4DFBXout).
Then it installs a plugin that was created by Unity...NOT MAXON in that version's plugins folder. Which converts the C4D objects to .fbx files using the FBX SDK.

AFAICT. Everything is being done by Unity team. Not MAXON.

-ScottA

Maybe so. All I can say is the conversion is slick. It converts and UV maps primitives from the c4d file format, translates animation data and translates a number of c4d specific features.
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  03 March 2018
duplicate post.
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Last edited by IceCaveMan : 03 March 2018 at 10:20 PM.
 
  03 March 2018
It's not really a secret trick or anything. That can all be done via the Melange SDK to read the objects, materials, and animation data in a .c4d file.
Then saving it as an .fbx file via the FBX SDK.
Anyone with basic C++ skills can do it. The hardest part is figuring out how the SDK's work. The FBX SDK is not very easy to understand in some parts.

I could be wrong. But I don't think MAXON has done any of the actual work in this area.
Since I've never seen any promotional stuff by MAXON about a Unity<-->C4D bridge. I'm guessing that the Unity team is doing all the work themselves using the available SDKs.

-ScottA
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