T-Splines preview release available


#1

There’s a preview release of T-Splines for Maya available for download at http://www.tsplines.com/resources/download_v7.html

For those that haven’t heard, T-Splines are a new surface formulation introduced in the Siggraph papers sessions in 2003 and 2004. T-Splines are a superset of Nurbs and SubDs, and can convert losslessly from either, as well as polymeshes. T-Splines also allow T-Junctions, which allow you to terminate isoparms/edgeloops in a T, without creating ‘n-gons’. That is, the surface still shades and deforms like a quad, without needing extra geometry.

Tom Sederberg, the main researcher behind T-Splines, created the T-Splines company in an effort to get the technology into the hands of artists as soon as possible.

We’d be very interested in hearing any feedback/suggestions that you guys have about it.


#2

Tom,

I’ve read the tech docs and looked at the previews. Looks like a good piece of technology and I hope it becomes widespread. I think I asked this question some time ago in the modeling forum but are there plans to port this plug-in to other systems like Softimage|XSI, 3DS Max, Houdini, et. al.? Also, can you control the surface (e.g. contunuity, degree, etc.) of the TSpline surface just like you could a NURBS surface or do you have to convert it back and forth between the two surface representations?


#3

I am no modeller, but I think this technique affects people who are into rigging and animation.
Even though it is easier for the modeller to weighting those cvs that are incomplete and also bindinging to bones seems to me a little tedious.
Also the idea of adding detail where one wants it can nowadays be done with some simple clever modelling in polys, converting to subds and using displacements. The mesh is light and subds are adaptive to add more polys based on the frequency/ contrast of the displacement map.
As of now I am not a huge fan of tsplines, but if someone can please tell me why its better than subd for a whole pipeline, that might change my view
Thankyou


#4

Well for one you can add an edge and it won’t automatically change the shape of the surface, like a subd would. This is really the next step, you get all the precision of nurbs with the flexibility and ease of use of subd’s. I’d also bet it has well defined UV tangents, unlike subd’s/polys.


#5

For our first release, we’ve just implemented the degree-3 case. The main reasoning behind this was that Catmull-Clark SubDs are degree-3, and it was easier to do a single degree. There is also some theoretical work necessary to make even-degree T-Splines work properly, that we haven’t made much progress in. The odd degrees are pretty easy.

We do plan to port to as many systems as possible, although that’s mostly a function of how much interest in the technology is expressed by artists and the authors of various programs. I’m not sure if I can give details, but we’ve been speaking with several companies about either adding functionality to their API/SDK so that we can add T-Splines, or licensing our back-end library for inclusion. It seems that most programs never imagined that another surface type would come around.

We do plan on being interoperable. I’ve done some early tests with ZBrush2, and it looks like we should be able to use it for painting displacement maps on T-Splines. For a lot of purposes, our Nurbs/PolyMesh export is sufficient. We’re working on a SubD/PolyMesh export, which would have to be an approximation, but shouldn’t be too hard.


#6

I’ve just downloaded it and tested for about 15 minutes.
1st impression on it is that it’s very much like maya subd. unfortunately it doesn’t runs fast in my machine. working on a simple torus adding points to it and move the points around seems to be responding very slow. I’m currently using qfx 4000 video card which i highly doubt such model would be too heavy for my machine.

When i try to merge 2 surfaces together by stitching edge together. it doesn’t work that well. from documentation, i’ve read about getting verts as close as possible before merging them together. But i find that in T-spline, snapping doesn’t work on those verts at all.

When i do extrusion, I don’t seems to beable to extrude along normal. it doesn’t have a manipulator like the ordinary poly extrude in maya.

The tessellate option doesn’t have settings for me to define the density of conversion i want.
Just incase someone want to know the spec of the machine i’m running on. It’s a P4 3.0 HT with 1 gig ram and a quadro fx 4000.

I hope it will have a ability to switch tesselation like Nurbs and maya by hotkey of 1,2 and 3. Currently it just displays as it is. I guess this is one of the reason it responds slow in viewport.

Sorry to say this. I haven’t really like it yet. It hasn’t prove much use apart from the existing geometry type in maya.


#7

hi tom,
is there any chance for us to get the maya 7 version of the beta plugin?
.thanx

take care
cpan


#8

There is a tesselation factor on the t-spline node, it defaults to 4, try lowering it and see if that helps performance. Right now the functionality seems very limited, but it is interesting none the less.


#9

At any time during your evaluation, you may purchase your own copy of T-Splines to take advantage of the introductory price of US$799 (regular price US$999)

VERY VERY Expensive for “just another way” to model :confused:
I dont mean to be harsh, but for the price, you can buy zbrush +shave and haircut or another mental ray licence :confused:

I hope this worths it :stuck_out_tongue:

edit*

Played a bit with it and i am unimpressed…
Where are the isoparms?
Its a fudamental tool on nurbs
There is no planar,boundary, loft tools and as a matter of fact no tools from maya standar toolset work on it

It feels like maya’s subdivision with better “split tool” and a nurb’s hull
Thats all :frowning:


#10

Its really good news that you guys expand the modelling toolset in Maya but i feel that if you should focus on anything it should be on expanding the poly/subd workflow. Polygons and ngons are absolutelly great and fast to work with if you have the right type of workflow. It has been mentioned several times before but take a look on the “smaller” niche´ softwares like silo,wings,modo where you have fast interactions and tools that makes you model with the speed of thought and that makes it a joy to work in. With such functions as isoline point editing (with no extra funky edges like mayas subd),virtual mirror, tweak, good bevels and many more that are simply too many tools to mention which if you follow the discussions in the Maya forum people are asking time over time. Alias have not been in the front of the latest modeling development so if you were to put your focus on expanding Maya there im sure you get lots of ppl buying your product and loving you for doing it.


#11

Hot damn, thanks for the tip. I’d forgotten to look in over the past few months and see where these folks have gotten to. Does anyone know if the 6.5 version will run in Maya 7? Or if they’re going to put out a v7 version any time soon?


#12

no the 6.5 version will not run at 7, it needs recompiling

I suppose they will update it to 7 if they intend to sell it O_o ?


#13

Thanks for the feedback… we really appreciate it.

Yeah, that’s something that should have been mentioned in the release notes. Working with construction history can be extremely slow, even for simple models. Part of this is maya’s plumbing for shapes, but we should be able to find a suitable workaround. The other part of it is that there’s still some optimization work left to do.

You should find it much more responsive if you work without construction history.

One other tip is the default mode for inserting points/creases is to preserve the surface’s shape. If you switch it to preserve the hull, it’ll be able to skip a lot of work. Let me know if this tip isn’t clear enough.

I’ll have to check that snapping problem out. The merging is also a slightly different paradigm than either Nurbs or SubDs, and some videos of the process would probably be in order.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention as well.

There’s an option on the T-Splines menubar to set hotkeys. This will make the 1, 2, and 3 keys work.

Thanks for the honest feedback.

One thing that’s a little bit tricky about the new surface type is that, while some techniques and workflows are well-suited to multiple surface types, others are not. For example, box modelling isn’t really applicable to Nurbs, and many Nurbs techniques are not applicable to SubDs.
One workflow that our artists found useful was to make a polymesh with the basic edge loops for proper deformation in animation. Then, they would convert that poly to a T-Spline, and add detail. The resulting T-Spline still deformed and animated properly, but had a lot more detail, without worrying about keeping every face 4-sided. The flow lines can simply terminate instead.


#14

Sorry, the 6.5 version doesn’t run on 7. We’ll try to get a 7 version out asap - it should be a simple recompile.


#15

nurcc : Thanks for the tips. I’ll give it another try later.

Originally Posted by nurcc
One thing that’s a little bit tricky about the new surface type is that, while some techniques and workflows are well-suited to multiple surface types, others are not. For example, box modelling isn’t really applicable to Nurbs, and many Nurbs techniques are not applicable to SubDs.
One workflow that our artists found useful was to make a polymesh with the basic edge loops for proper deformation in animation. Then, they would convert that poly to a T-Spline, and add detail. The resulting T-Spline still deformed and animated properly, but had a lot more detail, without worrying about keeping every face 4-sided. The flow lines can simply terminate instead.

Yes, I understands that the insert point do acts a little like nurbs insert isoparms but without the rest of the un-wanted points along the u and v. only issue for me is the speed. I’ll try to switch off the “keep history” option and see if it’s running faster. From what u’ve described about the adding local details. It still sounds very much like hierachical modeling in maya subd. (I haven’t add much points in T-spline yet, so haven’t really seen much controls better than hierachical in maya subd yet). In maya subD, I don’t have to worry about keeping very face as quads too.
One thing that I do like is the fact that I can convert from nurbs and subd to T-spline seamlessly. I hope T-spline will have more implementation of modeling options like what nurbs has, such as fillet blend tools, circular fillet, project curve on surfaces, trimming and etc. If all of above is applicable on T-spline. Then it’s really going to be different than the existing maya subD.
Sorry if I’ve suggested something which doesn’t make sense, I actually haven’t read the siggraph papers regarding T-spline yet. Not 100% sure what’s possible in T-spline yet.
Is there a link to the PDF papers on this technology avaible on the net? I’d be happy to read a little more info before I give anymore stupid suggestion.
Cheers.

:smiley:


#16

How would UVs work using this geo?

Cheers,
Pete


#17

It sounds like this is a very promising new approach to modeling. I know all the bugs have’nt been worked out but I’m looking forward to seeing this tech develop.


#18

Im agreeing with the ones about the price.
For that matter tyou can purchase LightWave or Modo and spline-model to hearts content.
I havent tested it since I dont have 6.5 or earlier on HDD but still seems a little much for a add-on modeling program…
Someone will surely prove my comments wrong and who knows maybe its worth $800.


#19

I’m sure pricing will come around… However, I can’t see many people shelling out that kind of money for another kind of modeling method I agree. If interest is out there I could see them making their money by other 3D apps just adding it into their architecture. I hope there is some continued interest for this one though. It would be sad to see development of this tech stopped because of lack of funding.


#20

If you convert from a Nurbs, it’ll use the Nurbs UVs, although you can edit them with the poly tools. All of the TSpline primitives on the shelf are actually just the Nurbs primitives, converted.
If you convert from a poly or subd, it’ll copy the UVs on the surface, and let you edit them with the poly tools.

For rendering, because we wanted to be as compatible with the renderers that are out there, we just do bilinear UV interpolation. However, if you use the RIB output, we can do bicubic interpolation, like pixar SubDs do.