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Tech Artist - What are you working on: FOREVER Edition!

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  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs sublime tool
    yet another batch export tool, this time with a fancy list view and a compact layout (very important to me)
    polycount_batch_exporter.gif
    Highlights elements in the list that are about to be replaced (either in your scene if you import, or replaced in the folder you wish to export to).
    Also there will be a option to export the object to its local axis system (reverse the current transformation).
    I need this for a unity project that uses lots of prefabs, so a good naming and update pipeline is the key for that project.
  • LoTekK
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    LoTekK polycounter lvl 17
    renderhjs wrote: »
    Some bigger issue I noticed myself was the lack of proper filtering especially if you have lots of small uv- shells. So I worked on this light match to view script that will create a shadowmap that I can use to filter out invisible elements from that view in the rendered RTT texture map.

    Before it was only removing backface culled faces but not areas outside the camera or hidden by other objects in front. Using this technique there should be a very nice masked area instead of wrapping and looping stuff around like now.

    This is something I was doing in Blender (using the material nodes, etc), though I never got the full script done, since the API was woefully incomplete when I attempted it. I should revisit the API and see if it's been improved on that front.

    [edit]
    Lovely. The api's been updated with the calls I need for blendAppLink, but some of the core features I need aren't implemented yet (most notably, render to texture). Joy! T_T
  • Joshua Stubbles
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    Joshua Stubbles polycounter lvl 19
    if any of you whiz's could ever update this to work with Epoly, I'll be your manho. :D

    http://w3.enternet.hu/godzola/ScriptSide/
  • Neox
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    Neox veteran polycounter
    Vassago wrote: »
    if any of you whiz's could ever update this to work with Epoly, I'll be your manho. :D

    http://w3.enternet.hu/godzola/ScriptSide/

    naaaah its time for some disneys ptex implementation into major packages, who needs uvs these days
    :P
  • Joshua Stubbles
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    Joshua Stubbles polycounter lvl 19
    ^ If only. I HATE UV mapping, hah.
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs sublime tool
    Neox wrote: »
    naaaah its time for some disneys ptex implementation into major packages, who needs uvs these days
    :P
    already happening at 3dcoat
    http://www.3d-coat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=4834&st=20&p=36791&#entry36791

    I wonder if zBrush will follow up soon and after that perhaps mudbox
  • SimonT
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    SimonT interpolator
    Not sure about this is the right section for it, but it's a bit technical and i don't want to create a new thread for this small thingie. I hope some other people can save time by knowing this small option:

    Scaling down/up uvs to make uv shells fit together is just annoying. I found out that Max is able to rescale the other cluster automatically (never used the stitch dialog because i always use a short cut on "stitch selected" where this bias isn't noticed AND the default option is 0.5 - problem!).

    pic-tutorial-stitch.jpg
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs sublime tool
    I don't read a question, but I assume you want to know how to change that stitch bias value. The short answer is that you can't access it through maxscript. But seriously in most of my cases I sitch and cut stuff in 1 process and once done relax the whole cluster or shell anyway so something like that doesn't really matter at all.
  • SimonT
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    SimonT interpolator
    No, that was a tipp. I searched for a solution, found it and thought: let's other people know, what i found out.
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs sublime tool
    ah yeah I knew that, what I meant is that I tried once to access that value through maxscript to have a custom script that just stitches the way I want it- but that value is not available in maxscript :(
  • SimonT
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    SimonT interpolator
    ah ok! yes right! the point is, you CAN access the bias value via maxscript (2010) and also a boolean value for the alignstuff, but it just don't work :(
  • Eric Chadwick
    Why not just set it to 0 and press Set As Default?
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs sublime tool
    because I like to be able to work with my tools out of the box on any max installation and not having to configure tedious settings over and over. Like this weekend I am joining a game jam session in Sydney where they provide max installations as well. At least in my life I encounter a lot of different or new max installations other than my personal ones.
  • SimonT
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    SimonT interpolator
    EricChadwick Also it's really time consuming to use thes shortkey AND move the mouse to the dialog (appear in the last stored position) and hot "OK". Normaly you just hit thes shortcut and the edges are stitched. It's like zack-zack-zack and you stitched 3 edges in 1 second. So it's really more longer.

    And remember: to save the bias to 0 you have to also save your uv editor settings! If you just hit "Set as default" and delete the UV Modifier, next time the default value will be 0.5 again.
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 18
    http://www-e.uni-magdeburg.de/kubisch/medical/DoktorandenTag_ChristophKubisch.pdf

    presentation on some of the PhD work in progress (pdf without videos)
  • Neox
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    Neox veteran polycounter
    SimonT wrote: »
    stitching stuff

    just set it to 0 then set as default in the stitching options and then save the settuings in the uv editor
  • SimonT
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    SimonT interpolator
    @ Neox

    I did and that work if you use the dialog the next time, but it doesn't work if you want to do it via maxscript. That's the point.
  • Neox
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    Neox veteran polycounter
    dang should have read your second post, sorry, humm well :/
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 14
    Currently working on a neat little shader export for a project I am working on. Just exports material data to XML. Nothing really special. I get to practice checking if something is there and what to do if it isn't.
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 14
    One thing I wish for is being able to clear mayas memory when working on scripts. I like to work on them a section/function at a time. If anyone has any tricks for this post up!

    (-_-)
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 18
    What do you mean by "clear Maya's memory" ?
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 14
    MoP wrote: »
    What do you mean by "clear Maya's memory" ?
    You know how when you're working on a script for testing and you get old vars/strings/etc. going, things don't work unless you restart. Sometimes I loose focus because I thought something didn't work, but it did after restart of Maya.
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
    Working on my two shaders, the "KoddeShader" and the "EyeShader". Contemplating on reworking how the reflections work.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2-rH_3EmSY[/ame]

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6Sh9_pqZro[/ame]
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 18
    Lamont wrote: »
    You know how when you're working on a script for testing and you get old vars/strings/etc. going, things don't work unless you restart. Sometimes I loose focus because I thought something didn't work, but it did after restart of Maya.

    Surely this will only happen if you declare them as global?

    Do you mean prototyping scripts in the Maya Script Editor? I always write my stuff in Notepad++ (for syntax highlighting) and save as a .mel file, and just have a shelf button for source myProc.mel; myProc; in order to refresh and re-run it. That way you never get any issues.
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
    Got the normal map effect for transition area of the iris.

    Left side is the new version, right side old version. Oh and I think the right side has it's cube map rotated incorrectly, also been fixed.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN9alIFB-d4[/ame]
  • Brice Vandemoortele
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    Brice Vandemoortele polycounter lvl 18
    very nice :)
    is it some sort of star shaped gradient that you clamp dynamically for masking? very cool anyway
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
    Brice> Thanks. Yeah you are right, it's based on a b/w gradient texture that you clamp dynamically. In other words you can define pretty much whatever iris shape your want and animation to go with it if you can make a gradient texture for it. Sounds tricky? I set up a scene with Z-depth shader to model my gradient shape instead of using a 2D app with limited gradient controls ^^

    Thinking of sharing the shader with the community, but then again it's quite a slim purpose and quite tech savvy to grasp what all the textures are for.

    This is the gradient for this specific example:
    maskcyborg.th.jpg
  • Flynny
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    Flynny polycounter lvl 9
    Ive been working on a animation script for zeroing/editing animation channels on a object that doesnt destroy the animation already there..

    Basically a make hips go to world zero perfectly so theres no blending issues between differant animations because they should all be zerod out ;D hard to explain heh


    Its for maya and il post up soon with images..

    Heres a link, for some reason today of all days my windows has decided all screenshots will be almost pure black so no images/videos as yet ><

    http://kflynny.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/a-new-fangled-maya-script-for-zeroing/
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 18
    some videos on the ghosting/cutaway realtime stuff I do for PhD, a bit choppy due to video captured to encrypted disk. Also quake-cam isn't perfect for this ;) but well effects run at very high fps (> 250 on geforce 9600)

    http://www-e.uni-magdeburg.de/kubisch/medical/vid_ghost1.wmv
    http://www-e.uni-magdeburg.de/kubisch/medical/vid_ghost2.wmv
    http://www-e.uni-magdeburg.de/kubisch/medical/vid_section1.wmv
    http://www-e.uni-magdeburg.de/kubisch/medical/vid_section2.wmv
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
    Thats cool crazybutcher. The choppy FPS doesn't do justice for it.
    Whats the purpose of it? Highlight certain organs or areas? Any transition between non-ghosting -> ghosting? Animated camera to focus at that area?
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 18
    yeah highlight organs/tumors... I do the tech. Others in the workgroup do studies on what effects are actually better for spatial perception, another person had things like animated camera paths in his PhD research. So in this case it's not part of a "end-user" application, but mostly for getting feedback fron surgeons and serve as input for the perception study.

    In another project that shall aid diagnose of coronary heart disease, I do tech and "end-user" workflow/app. 4 screenshots combined:
    http://crazybutcher.luxinia.de/wip/vesselall.jpg (currently working on a new system with similar features as that one, but different approach in user interface and alike)
  • Vrav
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    Vrav polycounter lvl 11
    kodde wrote: »
    Sounds tricky? I set up a scene with Z-depth shader to model my gradient shape instead of using a 2D app with limited gradient controls ^^
    I'd like to see it! Can't guarantee I'd do anything with it at the moment, but would be fun to look at and learn from. Your video looks really nice, is a clever solution. I've just baked such objects to plane as a heightmap for the same effect in the past.

    CrazyButcher... that's awesome. o_O
  • chronic
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    chronic polycounter lvl 10
    been working on a script to help UV manipulation in Maya, working on game assets I often use images in non-square aspect ratios. Maya's aspect ratio correction view is great but when you are in that mode some things dont work - like rotation - this script solves that problem, amongst other things. It was written and designed mainly for myself and co-workers, if you find any inconsistencies let me know so I can improve it.

    lcUVMover.zip

    lcUVMover.jpg
  • sama.van
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    sama.van polycounter lvl 14
    Working on a set of videos for my Folio showing tools I've done on Maya with Mel script :) !

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnApeBUNEaA[/ame]
  • mLink
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    mLink polycounter lvl 10
    chronic, that looks like a really useful tool. gonna give it a try today
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
    Vrav wrote: »
    I'd like to see it! Can't guarantee I'd do anything with it at the moment, but would be fun to look at and learn from. Your video looks really nice, is a clever solution. I've just baked such objects to plane as a heightmap for the same effect in the past.

    Cool. I'd like to prepare an example scene or somehow simplify it first though. It's kind of messy with lots of texture slots. T_T
  • commander_keen
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    commander_keen polycounter lvl 18
    I made a destructible object system in Unity. The objects must be broken up in the 3d app but once imported you just need to assign a script to the root and it sets everything up. It automatically batches the object chunks into a single mesh when the pieces are not moving to reduce draw calls, and i have tested it with about 100 inactive destructible objects at about 500 fps.

    Web Player

    fracture02.jpg
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 18
    very nice work Keen! I guess the z-fighting along the break splits could only be resolved if the split geometry was created in code (ie. inside faces discarded from indexbuffer) Or it's slight mismatches at the shared vertices.

    nevertheless great stuff.
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
    Got parallax to work correctly with my shader yesterday.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hckv75VLc8k[/ame]
  • SimonT
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    SimonT interpolator
    really great @ kodde!
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs sublime tool
    wrote a script to snap UV vertices to pixel corners for a current game project:
    snappixels01.gif

    another script is in a wip state but I think I am cracking something big here:
    stackshells01.gif
    It translates UV shells from a source shell to others similar to a stack tool. What is special however about this is that it reads the Geometry topology and not the topology of the UV shells in order to reconstruct things.
    Headus UV layout has something like this but it requires to mark 1 vertex in order for the math behind it to work.
    I however found a way to determine for every vertex a unique ID without depending on rotation or scale. So with that I know a unique order of the vertices of all shells and then just read from the source shell to the to be applied shells.
    What this means:
    Have for example a 3d mesh with lots of stones or bricks all based on the same topology but with different orientations and scale offsets. With this you would just have to unwrap 1 stone nicely and apply this same uvShell unwrap to all the others. Also with this you can stack UV shells perfectly on top of each other, it even works with flipped or symmetrical elements.

    There are still some pieces to solve as you can see in the animated GIF but I can already map 80% of the verts to their location, the rest is more comparison stuff to do.
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 18
    renderhjs: that last thing is awesome! looks really useful :)

    I've been learning a bit of PHP for my new website design, I've set it up so that it generates a list of thumbnails from a subfolder, then when you click on a thumbnail it scans a folder matching the thumbnail name, and puts all of that into a page to display. Of course it's all controlled by CSS so I can do whatever I like with the layout and style, so it should be pretty flexible if I ever feel like changing my site design.
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
  • SyncViewS
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    SyncViewS polycounter lvl 13
    Hey Kodde, that's really stunning, and makes me even more eager to start poking at shaders coding. Unfortunately I got so many things to do, and I know if I start in it, I'd put everything else aside for a while (very bad!), so please, less condensed coolness! :D
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
    SyncViewS> Haha :) Thanks.
    Yeah me too, so far this is just node-based mental mill. I also want to start using FX Composer and do it by hand.
  • Funky Bunnies
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    Funky Bunnies polycounter lvl 17
    renderhjs! you're making some badass progress on that, man!
    that would be intensely useful
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 18
    cool work, renderjhs. for the pixel snapping, you could also add a "snap to edge", ie snap uvs to closest edge pixel (detect edges of a certain magnitude on the bitmap), but I am not sure how real-world useful that is, at least in your example you have some clear edges in the texture.
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
    I'm such a sucker for shaders since I started playing with Mental Mill.

    So i was playing a bit of Mass Effect 2 earlier and one of my characters used this shield ability. I was inspired to try to reproduce this shader effect.

    Here's where I'm at so far. I'm considering adding some form of fractal/noise animation or something alike to get the surface to feel "living".

    me2shield01.jpg
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 18
    Kept working a bit on this today.

    Shield pattern and shield base intensity are animated. It has a fractal texture with rotation and translation animated, also an sinus+noise texture on shield intensity. Oh and a plain white facing dependent color addition and of course animated colors... messy I know.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLseLXSKwco[/ame]
  • JohnnySix
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    JohnnySix polycounter lvl 15
    @ commander_keen - Nice work, now you can recreate the Matrix Lobby Scene. Took a few attempts to knock the chunks out of place, but it may be I was too far away when hurling the cubes.

    @ renderhjs - That's fantastic - something I've always had a problem with in the UV editor is the lack of a decent snap. I remember when they first finally brought in pixel snapping in Flash MX 2004 and how awesome it was - especially for interface stuff.

    The shell recognition is the coup de grace though, the time saved will be phenomenal!
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