how to create spider web?

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Old 03 March 2005   #1
how to create spider web?

as the title says, how would one tackle such a project?

would you create a 1 polychain of the web and be able to render it nicely and realistically? (keep in mind this is to be render to print resolution and hence it needs to have abit of depth to the model)

or should i actually model the the web itself. what's the best way to do that? my current method is to create a spline and then rail extrude a very small circle along it. downside to this method is that it can be a long gruelling task and if any changes needs to be done to the shape of the web, it can be a nightmare. is there an easier way to achieve this as i need to render the web close up and quite hires.

thanks in advance,
thiam.
 
Old 03 March 2005   #2
There are a number of ways to fake this for mid-range shots. But if this is for a close up at print res, you're probably going to want to model it. Rail extruding is probably the best way. Using CMan's Align To Rail will take most of the headache out of the process and will cut the production time to a fraction of what it would normally be. Another option would be to build the web as a series of splines, then freeze them and apply Hypervoxels in Layout. That would give you the flexibility to change the shape without having to repeat the rail extrude process.

Hope that helps,

Steve
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Author: ZBrush ZPipeline Guide for LightWave
Co-Author: Essential LightWave [8] / v9
Co-Author/Editor: LightWave Tips and Tricks

www.stevewarner.com
 
Old 03 March 2005   #3
hey steve, thanks for replying. i think hypervoxel got a lot of potential but i'm abit worry about the render time. as my experience with using hypervoxel has been slow and frustrating. and that was rendering to 640x480 res.

just evaluating the other method you mentioned. how can i get hold of CMan's Align To Rail plugin? is it free to download?
 
Old 03 March 2005   #4
Here's a link to CMan's Yahoo site where you can download the plugins:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CMAN_LScripts/

While you're there, check out his other scripts. They're some of the most useful tools you'll find.

Cheers!

Steve
__________________
Author: ZBrush ZPipeline Guide for LightWave
Co-Author: Essential LightWave [8] / v9
Co-Author/Editor: LightWave Tips and Tricks

www.stevewarner.com
 
Old 03 March 2005   #5
thanks steve for all the help!!

although lw has some issues but 1 thing definitely going for them is it has great community. will try out align to rail and hopefully it won't take a brain surgeon to figure it out. unfortunately i'm abit of a duff when it comes to something too technical
 
Old 03 March 2005   #6
Hypervoxels can be rendering pretty quickly.The trick is if you have the points dense enough the HVs dont have to be very large.
 
Old 03 March 2005   #7
thanks splinegod. will try the hypervoxel route as well. unfortunately, like most 3d jobs i get it doesn't pay well and is quite frustrating trying to do something of good quality within the given time frame. (hence, no experimenting)
 
Old 03 March 2005   #8
Larry's right. The Hypervoxels approach renders quickly when you're using a lot of points. This web took about 10 minutes to build (using splines) and tool less than 8 seconds to render (640x480 no antialiasing).



There's plenty of room for improvement, but for 10-minutes, it's off to a good start. If you're interested in checking out the source files, you can get them here:

http://www.stevewarner.com/Tutorials/Help/SpiderWeb.zip

Cheers!

Steve
__________________
Author: ZBrush ZPipeline Guide for LightWave
Co-Author: Essential LightWave [8] / v9
Co-Author/Editor: LightWave Tips and Tricks

www.stevewarner.com
 
Old 03 March 2005   #9
thanks steve, it will be a good start for me to work from.
 
Old 03 March 2005   #10
For some great close up photos of a spider web, I would suggest checking out this site here: http://monitor.admin.musc.edu/~cfs/...2/pictures.html

Some of them are lower in quality, but others are quite good.
__________________
Earl Wilson
 
Old 03 March 2005   #11
Actually one of my last jobs was about building a spider web. There are several ways:

a) Image maps (probably the fastest and best way depending on your viewing angel) with bump maps.

b) Transfering image map of spider web into 2point polys (Streamline) and use Taut.p to create some solid geometry.

c) Use splines and then extrude an 8-sided disc along it.

d) the hypervoxel approach looks really interesting.

Cheers
Pancho
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It's not easy being green!
 
Old 03 March 2005   #12
i have started creating splines for the web, but the problem i'm facing now is that if i freeze the spline into 1 poly chain, there's not enough points to get a smooth line of hypervoxels. instead i get the blobby varieties. i have also set my setting in for the curve division to fine. is there an easy way to add lots of points to a spine?
 
Old 03 March 2005   #13
Extrude the poly chain in z-dir, subdivide as often as you wish, set value (z=0), merge, unify and check for polys other then 2 point.
__________________
It's not easy being green!
 
Old 03 March 2005   #14
is there anyway to make hypervoxels so that when it renders, it's doesn't look too blobby. as i'm rendering the web to hires, and don't want to make the web to look too thick, hence i can't really increase the particle size in hypervoxel.
 
Old 03 March 2005   #15
Use the either the Bezier or Spline Draw tools (or a combination of both) to draw the splines. Open the Numeric panel as you use these tools. You'll see the option to add more control points. I jacked this up to about 18 control points per spline for the large segments and about 9 for the smaller ones. But you can see that some parts of mine still look a little blobby when HV's are used. So perhaps using 24-36 on the high end and 12-18 on the low end would eliminate that problem. When you go to freeze, you'll need to select each spline individually. I tried a batch freeze and I got the "can't create polys with more than 1024 points" error. I also had to set my curve division to "coarse" for some of the more highly detailed splines.

Hope that helps!

Steve
__________________
Author: ZBrush ZPipeline Guide for LightWave
Co-Author: Essential LightWave [8] / v9
Co-Author/Editor: LightWave Tips and Tricks

www.stevewarner.com
 
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