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Work on a female character


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Its going to be a 3D version of a German comic character: Die kleine Gruftschlampe.

I am in touch with the creator Tikwa and doing a full 3d version of that character.

I am not able to post a full picture of the character yet, but just google it. So far I did

the cloth. Rendering is done in two steps: One regular render and one toon lines

only render which gets layered onto the standard render.

Cheers

Heiner

Grufti_Klamotte.jpg

Backside_Detail.jpg

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Rendering is done in two steps: One regular render and one toon lines

only render which gets layered onto the standard render.

 

 

Is there a reason why you are rendering in 2 steps?

 

You can render with toon lines AND standard shading in 1 step, no need to composite later.

toonlineswithStandardShading.jpg

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Hmmm,

now that you mention it. As a returning user which did not work wit A:M for

about 2 or 3 years, I forgot about that. I will do it like that from now on.

Thank you,

Heiner

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Thanks for the support.

One question: My models tend to be quite dense.

What is the best way to even out surfaces?

In the polyworld thats a easy task, in AM its

one challenge.

So far I am aware of the porcelain material method.

Any other ideas?

BTW: Where might I get the porcelain material from?

Cheers

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Porcelain is no longer available or is at least much more work than the Average-Normals-Surface-Attribute.

You can find it in any surface property (that means it is available for groups, whole models, materials, etc.).

It is by default set to "OFF". Set it to "ON".

 

If you do that, you will see a new property called "Normal Weight".

 

You can test that property out. 50% seems to be a good value, but sometime 100% or something inbetween is helpful too.

(depending on what you want to achieve)

 

See you

*Fuchur*

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I am not totally sure how this behaves if you use a toon renderer, but since you use normal shading it should work.

 

Be sure you are using the average normal + normal weights-properties on the first group of patches.

(what will not work is to create an empty group of all things below everything else and overwrittiing the properties there)

 

If it is still not working, try to create a simple case (something like a lath-object) and try it out. You should even see it in the real time view.

See you

*Fuchur*

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Next steps.

Thanks Fuchur for your input, I tried it with the skin parts of the model. But to be honest, I do not see any results ...

Cheers

Heiner

 

A:M is the opposite of poly modeling...reducing splineage would be the first thing to do to smooth things.

 

Averaging normals (which does the same thing as the Porcelain material did) is often subtle and some experimentation is needed to get the right setting for your model. Try setting the "Normal Weight" to "0", then "50" and then "100" to compare the results in final renders. For a character I'm working on, I ended up using a setting of "85". I'm not sure how a toon render would affect the results.

 

Hope that helps, Heiner.

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I'm liking the look you've got going.

 

 

As for the Porcelain material... hopefully this won't go too far afield in your topic:

 

I was experimenting with that the other day and updated an older porcelain material to v18 BUT in looking at the material code/text it became obvious that most of that material was/is now redundant because 1) there isn't much there to begin with 2) what is there has (mostly?) been incorporated into a porcelain-less workflow in current releases.

I should say however that in my testing I did still note considerable change in the smoothness of some models... but not in others (very odd) and Gerald may have clued me into why some models appear to be affected by the material while others don't.... namely, the settings of the FIRST material or group of patches. I'll have to check that out!

 

The entire text of the porcelain material for v18 should be something like this (note that you'll have to scroll (over on the right of the post) to see all of the code):

 

 

A:M Material File

ProductVersion=18

Release= PC

InstanceCropStyle=InsteadOfCache

Name=Attribute

AverageNormals=FALSE

NormalWeight=100

LastModifiedBy=Rodney Baker

FileInfoPos=262

 

There are only two parts of this material that trigger the porcelain effect. They are:

 

AverageNormals=TRUE

NormalWeight=100

 

Of these two settings we can set the Normal Weight in any Group but as for Average Normals setting... I'm not sure where that would be adjusted but if set to TRUE (in the porcelain material) that tends to make a difference. At least it did in my initial test that prompted me to update the Porcelain material for use with v18.

 

More testing required. If anyone can shed light on the Average Normal setting and how A:M handles that now in a porcelain-less workflow that would be appreciated.

 

Added: From what I can tell setting AverageNormals=True cannot be accomplished in A:M. That line must be added/edited via a text editor.

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It works for me without using a text editor, Rodney.

 

Yes.it should. I'm not talking so much about it working as I am about getting that line "AverageNormals=True" into the file (I assume it is only present in the material file but plan to test it in a Project file).

The part that I'm not sure about is how to access that line in A:M's user interface.

If you can toggle Average Normals from True/On to False/Off where did you access that parameter in A:M?

And just so we are clear... I'm not sure what you are specically referring to when you say 'it' works for me. I assume you mean the code I posted above? If not that then... not sure what you are referring to.

If it is the code you are referring to then the reason it works is because the line "AverageNormals=True" is in the file set to True so the averaging of Normals should work assuming A:M still knows what to do with that code. (Which I assume for backward compatibility it generally would).

 

Note that my assumption is that that particular setting has never been a part of the UI hence the need for the Porcelain material in the first place.

Assuming this is true a related question would be how A:M handles the Averaging of Normals now as opposed to how it did back when the porcelain material was regularly used.

 

I vaguely recall reading a post on that subject after porcelain material was deemed obsolete but I've been too lazy to launch a search for it.

 

Ah the joys of ferreting out the usefulness of presumed obsolete processes. :)

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I may be misunderstanding something, Rodney. I'll explain what I mean a little more thoroughly...hopefully, it will be helpful.

 

For the "Average Normals" available on a Group, I can just set it to "on", save the file and that "True" flag will be present.

 

For the "Porcelain" material, "Average Normals" is set to "on" in the material itself, but you can also turn "Average Normals" to "on" in the surface properties of the material by expanding the material on the assigned Group. This, once the model is saved, will also set a "True" flag on the "Average Normals" for that Group.

 

If it isn't one of those two things, then I'm still not understanding.

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I don't see an "Average Normals" option.

I do see a "Normal Weight" option. But that isn't an on/off setting but a percentage.

 

I will guess that is what you are referring to.

I hope that helps.

 

v18m here.

AverageNormals No Normal Weight Yes.png

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try setting the property triangle to on in the options rodney. for me it looks like what david is showing in his screens and I am using property triangles too.

and i am using show advanced properties too. maybe that is the one.

see you
*fuchur*

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And we have a winner!

 

That was it Gerald. On more than one occasion those extra properties exposed by Tool/Options have tripped me up.

 

Thanks for getting that mystery solved. I had wondered about why that setting didn't appear to have been transferred since I experimented with porcelain a week or so ago.

What a huge difference that makes in smoothness.

 

But now you've got me wondering if there may be a glitch in the system in that only Normal Weight appears until the advanced properties option is turned on. Then Average Normals will appear but THEN the Normal Weight option will disappear until Average Normals is turned on. (Kinda makes the head spin)

 

Bottom line: Average Norms works and can be accessed via Group properties if/when the triangle properties are set to 'Show Advanced Properties' on the Global tab in Tools/Options properties panel.

 

Added: For completeness sake, I tested the triangle properties option... to see if Normal Weight appeared. As its not a triangle property (sub property?)) that's not the setting that turns it on. Show Advanced Properties is the one that'll turn it on.

 

Addendum. I usually leave both the Advanced Properties and the Triangle Properties on. I'm not sure why I lose them. It's not like I consciously turn them off. I should know by now though that if something doesn't appear to check to make sure those two options are on.

 

And Again: There are a lot of places we can set these settings and I assume the settings aren't cumulative. As long as they don't cancel each other out we should be okay.

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Yes very possible. The problem is, that without Average Normals turned on, it will not use the normal weights.

> use Show Advanced Properties.

> Turn Average Normals to On.

> Insert a percantage value between 0 - 100% and see what suites you best.

 

See you

*Fuchur*

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Thanks for your help.

I put all that theory to good use and tried the "Average Normals" option.

Thats what I got out with a setting of 100%.

I think that look a good deal better than before!

Cheers

Heiner

Skin_Test_0.jpg

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So, the main model is done so far.

Next thing will be the hair. Oh man. how I love it.

With hair I always have the feeling as if I am

walking entirely in the dark. Try and error -- hardcore version.

Besides, I think there is a problem with the rendering.

Cheers

Heiner

 

Skin_Test_1.jpg

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Hi Heiner,
She's coming along nicely.
With regards to dynamic hair, I was always impressed with what Matt Campbell managed with it on his female characters.
May be have a look at his "A:M Hair with Collision-Detection!" thread for some pointers.

You can find it here: https://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=46413&do=findComment&comment=397250

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Hi there,

I am trying to shape her hair for a still in that way, so it fits my design.

I have the impresssion that in grooming mode, you can only affect

the controlpoints on the end of the guidancee splines. Is that so, or

did I miss a special trick which makes that possible?

Regards

Heiner

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No, all of the guides can be brushed although when there is overlapping sometimes the ones behind might not realize you are trying to move them.

The best way I've found to groom long hair is to change the realtime mode of the hair to wireframe.
There is an even better way (IMO)that I haven't explored yet and that is to use color decals etc. to control the orientation of the hair. I confess that I haven't done much in that arena but there is no better way than that to get the hair to go and stay exactly were you want it.

I do find that when I get a hair guide that is particularly stubborn (usually in the middle or near the base) I reorient my view and then use FK to pull the end guide out to its extreme and then go back in (with the FK or basic pointer) and move the stubborn CP.

Because particle hair can be computationally expensive anything you can do to limit extra visual stuff can help. For instance, you could turn off all drawing of the hair and initially place the guides, then go back in with wirefreme and refine, then go back in with shaded hair and adjust thickness and density (note that at this stage you likely are no longer moving the guides.

I don't want to steer you down the path of frustrating exploration but there is a paint program (several actually) that can be used to control direction of hair guides.

I would say the easiest way to grab an median CP on a guide is with the FK tool.

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When I want the Hair to have collisions with the body, do I need to define the body as a colision object?

Hey Heiner- looking good, man! I see you are delving into A:M's hair feature- GREAT! To answer your Q: No, you don't need to define the body as a collision object. It is another beast aside from SimCloth altogether. Here is a sample from my 'latest' with dynamic hair and collision-detection... seems to be working a little. I keep returning to tinker with hair in new released versions to see if the hair feature is being refined or works better, it does seem to improve over time. One thing AM hair does need for collision detection is to be eminated from a very dense mesh- I think I cover that in my paper. A good trick is to generate a denser mesh for your skull-hair areas by copy/pasting and slightly enlarging and then use the Plugins/Wizards/SplitPatch utility several times to multiply the scalp mesh.

 

Grooming the hair requires turning the dynamics and pre-roll to OFF (You can turn it ON again when done) you will get a better tactile response that way. Hope this helps! Dig your character!

moonboots test2.mov

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Another trick to maybe try on long-hair dynamics... let a force do the styling for you. Here you can see I am generating bangs by putting 2 forces (fans if you will...) as children of the head bone in the rig. Adjust the magnitude of the force to control... also in the images... if you look close... many other tricks may be seen in the settings.HashHairTrick.jpg

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Hi John,

I will give these suggestions thought and tries.

Right now my bread n butter job is a little demanding

and limiting the time I can spend on fiddling around with it.

I get back as soon as i have more time again ...

Cheers

Heiner

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I just reactivated a real old character.

Its for a game, and a friend of mine is starting

to do some coding for it.

I thought instead of puting up a new thread, I just put it here!

Besides, the guy is animated already!

Cheers

Heiner

Walking_Pirate_Sample_1.gif

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