Using nHair or Painteffects to form objects?

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  05 May 2013
Using nHair or Painteffects to form objects?

Hey guys,

I am trying to find methods as it is always being requested often by clients now where a wire mesh or fiber would grow to form the product / object.

I am looking for a solution even if it includes a lot of manual labor in drawing each spline but I'd like to be pointed in the right direction if possible.

Do people use alpha channels instead? Isit simpler then I think it is? Pfx or hair would do? I need it to look like growing fibre.

I do believe Polynoid is using maybe houdini or something of a more procedural solution but I have no idea how they did this.
Polynoid video

You can see in the nike segment, the cloth looking bit for a second there.
We are Royale

Please point me in the right direction. Also, preferably if the solution can work in Vray that would be awesome but that is just icing on the cake. Thank you everyone.
  05 May 2013
I think the first one would be hard to do in Maya, looks more like a C4D type thing, but the second one could be done with hair/pfx. You can use hair curves to control geometry, or attach PFX strokes to them and animate the End Bounds and Pressure Mappings on the stroke shape.
Demo Reel 2012-13!
  05 May 2013
Can we really achieve that kinda quality even if its close ups with maya hair/ pfx? I need it to look like fibre growing into shape. If your sure...and anyone else can chime in on this, i'm going to start reading up everything I can to execute using this method.
  05 May 2013
Looks like the black shoe fibers could be done with an animated displacement map and texture, and hair may be useful for those blue strands, but yea you could probably get those spirally looking black fibers using hair/pfx. Hair has a curl setting that could get something simalar probably.
Demo Reel 2012-13!
  05 May 2013
Animated displacement map and opacity map you reckon? Another project coming up with this..gonna be insane.

Have you been able to work on stuff similar and dealing with the alpha map easily?
  05 May 2013
I've attached a simple scene fine that does something similar to the first example using animated texturing. Currently with this scene's displacement settings you need to use the Maya renderer and the render is a bit slow, but it works. Mental Ray could also work, but one would need to modify the shading network and displacement settings.

The basic technique is to use a cloth texture then animate a ramp for a displacement, using the same ramp to modulate the width of the cloth fibers. The shading network is fairly complex... I used a lot of remapValue nodes to change the range or invert output values from the various textures.

In this example the fibers are always on the same surface and thus connected. However it would be possible to use two identical surfaces with different shaders... one only with u fibers in the texture and one only with v fibers. This might require a higher level of tessellation, depending on how fine the fibers are.
Attached Files
File Type: zip (10.9 KB, 97 views)

Last edited by Duncan : 05 May 2013 at 03:35 PM.
  05 May 2013
Hey everyone thanks for your input and Duncan as usual for the most amazing results with an included scene. I am really appreciative of this.

I'd like to ask more about this node if you don't mind. I really didn't think the cloth texture was ever something usable but the results you got are pretty awesome.

Firstly, for the first link by polynoid, this method is still not the method they would have used for the close ups right? But probably anything slightly further back? I am curious if the weave can somehow look right when combined with ramps like you did (which I am shocked by)

Also, was trying to understand everything you did. One of the nodes that baffled me was the U & V size of the cloth texture. I'd assume had I animated the size like you did and mapped this on a normal object, it would have the entire tube appear at once and would not have the "travelling", "delayed" or "growing" effect.

I can't wrap my head around how the displacement and opacity and U & V size of the texture somehow seem like their being triggered to play only as the ramp goes by. It almost seems procedural.

Please further elaborate if possible. this is pretty impressive a method and i'll love to really understand what I am doing.

Thank you again Duncan.
  05 May 2013
Ok... first ignore the displacement. The ramp texture controls the width of the the cloth texture uv widths... where it is black the width is 1.0 and where it is white the width is zero. This is done by reversing the ramp on the remapValue nodes.

The same ramp serves as a displacement map, so where there is zero displacement the the cloth widths are 1 so it is just a normal surface with no gaps. Where the ramp is white the displacement is the max and the cloth width is zero, so the surface is fully transparent.

The position of the two ramp indices are animated to animate the transition to displacement/zeroThickness across the object.

The remap value nodes threshold the cloth output going to transparency and specularity, so that where the cloth is fully black( only in the gaps ) it is totally transparency with no specularity.

To get the geometry where the over/under threads are more 3D and less of a displacement, instead of a cloth texture one might use two repeating ramp textures... a uRamp displacement and a vRamp displacement on two meshes. There are a lot of ways one might set this up... and perhaps one might use a sine deformer instead of a texture. An animated displacement and transparency might still be the easiest way to animate it.
  05 May 2013
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