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Maya 2012 to collada through FBX converter 2011.3.1 results in loss of mesh detail.


Nomasha Syaka
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I am using Maya 2012 and everything exports well though the inbuilt collada, but with multiple textures on a single object I have to export it as an .fbx then convert to collada in FBX converter 2011.3.1. This is indeed the only way I can make a mesh with multiple faces.

Problem: I lose minor detail in the mesh in the process and this results in a poorer quality object. Any ideas?

I wonder if I am able to change the built in collada converter in Maya 2012 to an earlier version  - even if I could, I have no idea if it would help?

Love some feedback.

 

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I am using a Maya 8.0 so I don't know if this will work for you.  My version won't export correctly multiple textures either but I figured out a work around so that I don't have to use the FBX converter and can export directly out of Maya as a DAE_FBX file.

The problem with my exporter is it doesn't like multiple texture files applied to the lamberts.  My solution is replace all the lamberts with new ones that don't have a texture applied to them.  I then export as a DAE_FBX file and upload to SL.  Rez the new mesh.  Upload the textures manually and apply them manually to the mesh and take the mesh back into my inventory.  You can even make the lamberts different colors in Maya and they will hold in SL.  They will tint your textures in SL but you can manually change all the faces back to white like any other prim.  Here I will write a step by step instructions.  I know an easy way to select all the faces of any Lambert.

1. Make a backup copy of your mesh before start.

2. Click on the "Window" menu at the top of your Maya window.

3. Move your cursor down "Rendering Editors".

4. Select "Hypershade"

5. Move your cursor over into the Materials tab window into a black area and hold down your right mouse button.

6. Go down to "View" and select List.  This will make it easier to see all your lamberts.

7. Move your cursor over one of your Lamberts and hold down your right mouse button.

8. Move your cursor to the right and let go selecting "Select Objects With Material" This will select all the faces that are using that lambert .  Note: It will select all the faces of all the objects in your scene so you can't just make a duplicate of your mesh though you could just deselect the faces your don't want manually.

9. Move your cursor over on top of your mesh and apply a new lambert.  Under Common Materials Attributes do not apply a new texture file but you can click on the grey "Color" box and apply a color.

10. Repeat process with all the other Lamberts you had applied to your mesh and export as a DAE_FBX file.

I hope that helps. :)

Please let me know if that process works for you. :D

Cathy

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Nomasha Syaka wrote:

Thanks Cathy, unfortunatly no go. i followed your instructions to the letter and the mesh results in a single face. Any other thoughts?

Just to be clear you did create a new Lambert for each of the Lamberts you were replacing right?

For example if your finished mesh had three lamberts with three textures applied named Lambert_1, Lambert_2 and Lambert_3.  Then you created three new lamberts to replace the three original lamberts so the new ones would be named Lambert_4, Lambert_5 and Lambert_6.

If you did do that and it still didn't work you could install an older fbxmaya.mll plug-in.  I would rename your current one to something like fbxmaya2012.mll before you install an older one.  Just be sure to not have both the original and older fbxmaya.mll set to load and auto load at the same time other wise when you go to export your mesh you will have two DAE_FBX files options in your export selected window.

I am using fbxmaya.mll version 2006.08.  You can get it at the Autodesk Plug-in and Converter Archive.

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/item?siteID=123112&id=10775920

Hope that helps. :)

Cathy

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Yes, I tried again with extra attention to exactly what I was doing and there is no doubt this does not work with Maya 2012.

 

Ok, so the plug in sounds like a plan to try.

1) When I install it, I will be given the option clearly to keep the existing plugin that comes with the software?

2)Where would I go to rename it?

 

Thanks

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Right, I gave it a go and cannot load the plugin "

// Error: The specified procedure could not be found.

(fbxmaya) // "

I know for sure it was the right location etc and was correctly named. I tried 201.3.1 too, but same issue. I have previously tried a 2012 version to the same location and that did load ok, but I could not produce .dae with multiple face. It seems that the convertor is the only system that works to some degree for me.

 

I wonder if the detail I am losing is in the .fbx 2011 I need to export to get into the convertor?

 

 

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You want to rename fbxmaya.mll before you try to install the new one.  Name is fbxmaya2012.mll.  You will have to restart Maya if Maya is already open when you rename it.  Be sure to uncheck the "load" and "auto load" for it.

You can find out where the plug-in is located by opening up the Plug-in Manager like before and clicking on the letter "i" to the right.  Might as well because you need to uncheck the "load" and "auto load" anyway.  You can note what version your fbxmaya.mll is as well.  The converter archive probably has it as well so if you need to install it again you could.

If you get the same plug-in to install that I am using you shouldn't have to use the FBX converter.

I hope that helps. :)

Cathy

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I'd be surprised if the older plugin will be able to load.  Maya devs love to change MEL functionality from version to version.  Sometimes, older stuff will work with newer versions, but not always.  2012 brought some pretty significant changes, if my understanding is correct.  It's worth continuing to try, if you haven't yet exhausted all options for trying to get it to run, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

As for the distortion problems, it was a little hard to tell what I was looking at in the image you posted.  Was that a couple of baked texture maps, or screenshots of the actual model geometry, or what? 

If it's the former, I'd have to question your procedure, since the model exportation should have no bearing whatsoever on texture baking. 

If it's the latter, then my guess is we're looking at rounding errors in the vertex positions.  In that case, I'd suggest a process of elimination to try to figure out at what stage the errors are being introduced:

First, the basics.  Be sure to freeze & reset transformations, and delete history, prior to export, always.  Also, how fine are the details in question?  If the geometry is so small that accuracy of more than a few decimal places is needed, then I'd suggest you rethink your modeling strategy.  Errors or not, there's no justification in the first place for modeling anything that small for use in reatlime simulations.

Assuming the basics are covered, next try importing the FBX file straight back into Maya.  If it comes in without errors, then you know the issue is not at the FBX export stage.  After taht, import the convered COLLADA file into Maya.  If it again comes in without errors, then you know the conversion process is not the problem.  The only thing left at that point would be the SL import stage, which unfortunately is beyound your direct control.

If errors do happen with either or both of the imports into Maya, then you'd want to take a very close look at your export and import settings.  Are the units the same as your working units?  Are there any options enabled/disabled that might cause interference of any kind?

If you're up for some diagnostic tedium, you could try opening both the FBX and the COLLADA file in a text editor, and compare the vertex positions.  I your model has thousands of verts, analysis might not be a realsitically feasible, of course.  But still, it might be worth a glance.

If none of that covers it, I'm stumped for now.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Right, taken my time in responding as I wanted to observe the issues over time. And I have come up with... very little. The basics are all covered (history deleted, reset transformations etc. It happens on occasions and only on conversion. If I go straight to .dae it works fine, if I have to go through the .fbx converter, that's, if ever, where the problem is. I can only assume that yes, it is down to bad geometry (crossing planes with reversed normals etc) that a straight to .dae pipeline handles, but an fbx conversion picks up on.

Either way, it is not a deal breaker for me in any way, just a glitch that I work around by redressing my object usually. Sometime "smooth" helps, though rarely.

Thanks for everyone's input. Will update if I find out more.

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