Transfer/Export Smoothing Groups

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  06 June 2013
Transfer/Export Smoothing Groups


I searched the net and couldn't find a way to transfer the smoothing groups of one object to another.

I have two files with two identical characters. The first file contains the character with smoothing groups and the other the same without but rigged and animated.

Is there a way to just transfer just the SMG from one model to another without touching the weightpainting or other maps?

Greetings Sorarey
  06 June 2013
I don't know that you can do that with smoothing groups, but you should be able to transfer your animation weights from one mesh to another
The Z-Axis
  06 June 2013
Hey Sorarey, download this script(it's a macroscript called SlideNormalThief), this script projects the vertex normals from one object to another, which should do what you are looking for since smoothing groups are vertex normals oriented in a custom manner, the good thing about the script is that the objects don't have to have the same vertex index either(ie. they can be completely different)...
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by darthviper107: I don't know that you can do that with smoothing groups, but you should be able to transfer your animation weights from one mesh to another

Hello! That would be possible but a much bigger workaround because I have to skin the "SMG-Object" first and then transfer the weightpainting, afterwards transfer the animations.

I have SlideNormalThief a try but sadly it isn't working as I expected, maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Here a picture of what happens. (It even destroys a part of my former normals, but by deleting the editnormal-modifier you can undo this)

My steps:
1. Load the Reference File
2. Import the same Mesh withouth SMG/or just one SMG
3. Put on both meshes an Edit Normals Modifier
4. Use the Slide Normal Thief Tool
4.1. Pick Reference (The Object with the SMG)
4.2. Pick the Target (Object without the SMG)
4.3. Steal

Thanks for helping me!

Greetings Sorarey
  06 June 2013
Are you aligning the two models together? they should align/overlap as much as possible, since this is using a projection method the same as when you are using a projection modifier...
  06 June 2013

No I didn't align them first.
I repeated all the steps but with aligned objects.

But instead of a SMG-Transfer it just gives both objects (Reference and Target) one simple SMG.

1 Reference how it should look like! (Especially eyes, mouth)
2 Target after projection
3 Reference after projection
  06 June 2013
You are right, it seems that it only works with unified normals and won't recognize broken ones, but don't worry, there might still be hope, I'm not home atm, I'll get back to you when I get back, I need to do some testing...
  06 June 2013
Hey Sorarey, change of plans, download TexTools, it has an option to create UV seems from smoothing groups and another option to create smoothing groups from UV seams(one is under the 'tools' menu and another in the main UI with a green plane about to explode), now:

1. First off, save both of your models' UV layouts (you can do this in the Unwrap UVW's options), this is important since the process destroy the layout, be careful.

2.In the textools main UI first press the 'Edit UV' icon to add a new UnwrapUVW mod, and then press the split UV based on smoothing group icon(mentioned above), now you should have a layout that matches your SMG's.

3.Now copy and paste the UnwrapUVW modifier that textools has applied to your second model.

4. Now under the 'Tools' menu of textools select 'Smoothing Groups from UV Shells', by now you should have identical SMG's on your models, hopefully...(I've tested this and it worked perfectly for me)

5. Now load your saved UV layout's for both of your models.

I just tested this and it worked for me, hopefully it'll work for you too...

Last edited by Rudiam : 06 June 2013 at 07:35 PM.
  06 June 2013
Hello Rudiam!

I just tried out your way to transfer SMG.

It does seem to work partially.

The fish with the green lines is the reference object (you can see the TexTool, the darker icon is the "split by smoothing groups", right?)

I guess the target object's SMG don't look right because of the wrong splitting by the tool.
Loading the old UVs isn't a problem.

Maybe I missed something?
  06 June 2013
That's odd, It seems its splitting the UV's even in places that are on the same Smoothing group, I don't know why it's doing that, I could test it over here If you can send me the file, other than that all I can say is try again, maybe you've missed st, and yes that's the correct icon... I'll try to test it on a more complex scenario... keep at it for now...

In the meantime if someone else has an idea what's happening please let us know...
  06 June 2013
I guess I know what's the problem!

I have some polys, which belong to more than just one SMG. Therefore the tool might not know where to put those polys. So it has to sort them to just ONE group (UV).

Do you think that might be the problem?
  06 June 2013
Yup, that's it, I never considered that scenario, well, so far I haven't managed to fined a definite solution for this, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for this, maybe some script gurus around here can put together something... as I always say there's always a way with Max, you just need to be creative...^^

I'll definitely let you know if I come across st new...
  06 June 2013
Hey Sorarey, I think I've got it this time, and it's dead simple, right click your model with the SMG's, choose curve editor, click the plus signs next to the name of your model , keep navigating down the tree until you reach your base object node(this will be under the 'Modified Object' node if you have other modifiers in the stack, and beneath the transform node if you have no modifiers in the stack), it will be something like 'Editable Poly(object)' if your base object is an editable poly, right-click this node and choose Copy, then in your skined model, first apply a UnwrapUVW mod right above your base object in the stack, then in the curve editor navigate to the same place(the base object node), right-click your base object and choose paste, and this should hopefully work out for you...

This will copy over the entire base object along with all it's properties including the smoothing groups, as well as embedded UV layouts(that's why you need to first put a unwrap mode in the stack), obviously this means the Material ID's will be overridden too, but hopefully you have the same Mat ID on both of them.

Last edited by Rudiam : 06 June 2013 at 10:31 PM.
  06 June 2013
Oh my god!

You are a genius! It totally works! I will take a note so I can remember this!

Thank you so much for your time, you helped me soooo much!
It's even better than using some kind of projection! <3

Happy Greetings,

  06 June 2013
Quote: as I always say there's always a way with Max, you just need to be creative...^^

And I stand corrected...^^

Your more than welcome, happy it finally worked out... btw I really like the fish, I have a feeling she's going to be even cuter when animated and textured... good luck!
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