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Hello all.

I started using Maya recently and actually I'm having a problems saving my sculpt with the exporter script found in the wiki.

Actually my problem is a common one  "// Error: Object list must contain a surface and a texture".

I get this error if I select the object using the button "select by hierarchy and combinations", that is the only one that allows me to select the whole object. If I use instead "select by object type" it will select only one face of the object and selecting them all at once I will get to export 1 sculpt map for each face (Top,Front,Back....).

I'm new to Maya and I'm still learning how to use it properly. I started creating a NURBS cube 32x31 (U patches: 32 and V patches: 31) .

I just can't get to export the object as one sculptmap only.

I used the script with an imported OBJ made in Zbrush and it works, but it doesn't works with the primitive created in Maya 2011...

Anyone can help? What is that I do wrong?

Thank you

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A nurbs cube consists of 6 patches. You will want to start with a sphere, torus, plane or cylinder (deleting the endcaps).

edit: To clarify a little....the nurbs cube really is 6 planes that are loosely alligned to look like a cube but it is still 6 individual objects. Thats why you are getting 6 maps as output. Alternatively to the default primitives you can create sculpties using curves with the extrude or loft commands.

 

 

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Oromis Dragovar wrote:

Hello all.

I started using Maya recently and actually I'm having a problems...

 

 

Let me stop you right there. If I'm misinterpreting you, forgive me, but it sounds like this is your first foray into using Maya.  If that's indeed the case, then please take this first response to heart.  I'll answer the specific question you asked, since we're here, but before I do, let me help you a whole lot more by offering you some good, solid advice, gained from many years of experience in both doing and teaching this material.

If you're brand new to Maya, forget all about sculpties for now.  Don't even attempt them until after you've spent some time learning the basics of Maya itself first.  I know that's not what you want to hear, but let me explain.

It is nearly always a recipe for disaster whenever anyone approaches Maya with "I want to make _______" in mind,  No matter what the blank happens to be, the end result is always the same, frustration.

It's not that learning Maya is hard.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  It's actually one of the easiest programs to learn in existence on this planet.  But the information has to be absorbed in the right order, or it just doesn't work.  The basic fundamentals have to be there first, or nothing else makes much sense.

I tell people this all the time.  If you try to put the cart before the horse, you will inevitably experience nothing but frustration after frustration, after frustration, and you won't know why.  Today, you happen to be experiencing a simple misunderstanding about what a NURBS cube really is (one of those basic fundamentals I just mentioned).  Tomorrow it'll be something else.  And then something else, and something else, and something else...  Keep that going, and six months from now, you'll be barely any further along than you are now, because you will have spent five and half months worth of that time trying to problem-solve at every turn, rather than actually getting anything done.  Again, without the fundamentals in place, the whole thing doesn't work.

Trust me; I've seen it a thousand times.  Some people are tempted to respond with, "I'm smart.  I'll figure it out as I go.  Now let me just make my _______, and be on my way."  But the reality is the question of how smart or capable you may be is beside the point.  This simply isn't the way to learn Maya, period.

The way that absolutely works every single time, for every single new user, at all capability levels, is to learn Maya itself first, and then apply that knowledge to making whatever you want, be it sculpties or anything else.  So, as I said, forget all about sculpties for the next few weeks, and instead spend that time diving into Maya's basics. 

The way every single proficiient user of Maya has ever done it, from hobbyists to high end professionals, starts is by going through all the Getting Started tutorials in the help file.  And I do mean ALL of them.  Don't skip over any, don't go out of order.  Even if you don't (yet) see how a particular tutorial relates to what you (think you) want to know, do it anyway.  Trust me; it's all relevant, and it's all critical need-to-know information.

You see, unlike with most other programs, Maya's help file is actually helpful.  A sizable portion of the $3500 price tag of Maya goes to pay for that help file.  It is quite simply THE best included help of any program I've ever seen.  There is absolutely no better way to get started with Maya than to use those tutorials.  Even 3D graphics majors at universities and high end trade schools, who pay thousands of dollars for professional instruction in Maya, are expected to do those Getting Started tutorials before they do anything else at all.  You paid several hundred dollars for that help file.  Don't waste that money.  Use it.

After you've been through all the tutorials, you'll find that everything you need to do in order to make sculpties (or anything else) will almost automatically make sense to you.  You'll still have more to learn, of course, but you'll have a really solid mastery of the basics of the program.  From there, you'll be able to branch out into any specialty you want, with relative ease, sculpty modeling included.

So you know, in the very beginning, sculpties in particular are especially problematic for the new user.  Sculpties are just plain weird.  They're entirely unique to SL, and the way we work with them is almost completely bass ackwards from how we work when creating any other kind of models.  Bottom line: making sculpties won't teach you much about Maya, or about 3D modeling in general.  But learning Maya, and learning the basics of 3D modeling, will absolutely teach you to make sculpties.  I hope that makes sense.

Once you've got a good handle on the basics of Maya (which will happen sooner than you might think, via those tutorials), you'll find that sculpties will be almost absurdly easy for you to make.  But in the here and now, if you keep focusing on sculpties themselves, you'll unfortunately find that learning Maya will be extremely difficult, and it will only continue to get harder as you keep going from that direction. 

So, at the risk of beating this into the ground, I'll say one more time, the best thing you can do for yourself right now is put the sculpties on hold, and spend the next couple of weeks diving into those Getting Started tutorials.  Think of it is a temporary step back, in order to make a giant leap forward.  Sculpties will be here waiting for you when you're done.

Also, I should mention, the tutorials are fun.  So don't feel like this is going to be a chore.  Learning Maya is a highly enjoyable process.  Have a good time with it. :)

 

That said, if I did indeed misinterpret, and you're already proficient with Maya's basics, then feel free to ignore all of the above, and read on.

 

 


Oromis Dragovar wrote:

Hello all.

I get this error if I select the object using the button "select by hierarchy and combinations",

The sculpty exporter doesn't understand heirarchy or combinations.  It's not designed for that.  The error is triggered because you haven't selected the actual surface(s) you want to generate sculpt maps from.  You've only selected a data node that references the object(s).  You can't make a sculpty out of that little data node.  It's not something that has any shape in 3D space.  It's little more than a piece of text.  You can only make a sculpty from an actual surface, something that has a geometric shape to it.  Make sense?

 


Oromis Dragovar wrote:

I started creating a NURBS cube

This is a really common "rookie mistake".  As Avaline said, the NURBS cube isn't a real primitive.  It's just six planes.  If you really want to make your SL object from six individual sculpties, then you could use the NURBS cube, no problem.  But I doubt that that's actually what you want to do.

The way to make a sculpty "cube" is to deform a sphere into the shape of cuboid.  This is virtualy the same thing you'd do if you were making a polygon-based sculpty cube in Blender or any other program, by the way.  You don't start with a poly cube in those programs either, as poly cubes do not have sculpty-compatible topology and UV layout.  You start with a sphere or cylinder, and then you deform that into the shape of cube.

Here's an example of how a NURBS sphere can morph into a cuboid:

sculptshapes2.jpg

And here are instructions (which I've posted MANY times on the forums), for how to do it:

1.  Rez a 16x16 NURBS sphere.

2.   Select all the control  vertices along a longitudinal hull, except for  the the points at the  poles and the one at the equator.  This is most  quickly done in top  view.  First, select the hull itself.  Then  ctrl-drag over the pole to  deselect both poles at once, and then  ctrl-click the equatorial CV to  deselect it as well.

3.  In your  Move tool settings, disable  Retain Component Spacing.  Then snap all  the selected CV's into  alignment with the equatorial CV you just  deselected a second ago.  To  snap to vertices, either click the button  toward the top of the screen  that looks like a horseshoe magnet with a  little dot near it, or hold  down the hotkey V while you're moving  things around.  (Note, when  snapping, move along just one axis at a  time, by dragging on one of the  arrow-shaped control handles on the  manipulator.  Do not drag from the  center circle of the manipulator, or  you'll snap on all three axes at  once, collapsing your selection to a  single point.  The result you want  here is columns, not points.)

4.   If you did the above steps  correctly, you've now got a capped  cylinder, the center shape shown in  the above image.  You might be  wondering why you didn't transition  through that pill shape shown in  between the sphere and the cylinder.   That's just because it's an  unnecessary transition.  I only included it  in the image in case anyone  doesn't read the directions.  I think it  helps visually demonstrate  how a sphere could morph into a cylinder.  If  you really want to make  that shape, just select less CV's along each  hull before snapping them  into place.  The less CV's you snap into  columns, the more dome-like  the caps on each end of the cylinder will  be.  Snap them all, and you  get a cylinder.  Snap none, and you've got a  sphere (duh).  Snap any  amount in between, and you get a pill.

5.   To bigin turning the  cylinder into a cube, simply snap the columns of  CV's to the grid.  To  snap to grid, either click the button at the top  of the screen that  looks like a horshoe magnet next to a grid, or hold  down the hotkey X  as you move things around.

6.  If you did all of  the above  correctly, you should now have a shape that looks like the  second one  from the right in the picture.  It's almost a cube, but it  still lacks  sharp vertical corners.  To make the corners sharp, simply  move the  columns of vertices that are near the corners closer together   You  should have three columns at each corner.  The closer you move any   three together, the sharper each corner will be.  For a razor edge,  snap  them together.  For a more rounded (and frankly more believable)  look,  leave a little space.

7.  If you've done everything right  so far,  your shape should now look very similar to the cube on the far  right in  the picture.  There are just a couple of last tweaks to do.   First,  you'll want to flatten out the top and bottom.  Since the  starting shape  was a sphere, the distance from pole to pole is slightly  taller than  the distance from the uppermost longitudinal hull to the  lowermost one.   So, grab the that uppermost hull, and snap it into  alignment with the  north pole.  Likewise, snap the lowermost hull into  alignment with the  south pole.

8.  You're almost done.  The final  step is to make the  top and bottom edges have the same degree of  roundness as the vertical  edges.  Again, you want three groups of hulls  to form the corner.  I'll  assume you left a little bit of a  round-over, just as I did for the cube  in the picture.  (After all,  totally sharp edges do not exist in RL.   If you're gonna go that route,  you might as well use regular prims.  The  whole point of sculpties is  to make things that are more natural  looking.)  In your Move Tool  settings, enable mirroring on the Y axis  (assuming your Maya scene  orientation is Y-up).  Grab the uppermost  hull, and scale it down a  little, bringing all its CV's just a little  bit toward the center.   Grab the next hull down, and snap it up into  vertical alignment with  the first one.  Finally, grab the third hull  down, and move it upward  to be close to the second one, so that all  three hulls are about  equidistant from each other.  The distance between  them should be  roughly the same as the distance between the three  columns at each  vertical edge.r

If you did everything right, your  cube should  look just like mine. Now just scale it to the right size to fit your  clip, and then bend it to its final shape.  For the bending, you can  either rotate the hulls by hand, or you can apply a simple bend  deformer.  Either way, remember to delete history, freeze and reset  transformations, and then delete history again, before exporting your  sculpt map.

This may all seem like an enormous amount of work, all  written out like this.  But that's only because describing it is much  harder than actually doing it.  Really, it only takes a minute.  Plus,  you only have to do it once.  Save a copy of the cuboid, and then just  reload it every time you need to make something based on it.

 

 

 


Oromis Dragovar wrote:

32x31 (U patches: 32 and V patches: 31) .

The best number of sections and spans to use is 16x16 (for a non-oblong sculpty).  Technically, you can have as many or as few as you want, but things can get confusing fast if you have too many or too few.  Generally speaking, you want one section/span in Maya for every two quads the in-world sculpty is going to have.  All (non-oblong) sculpties have 32x32 quads in them, so 16x16 sections/spans is ideal.

 

 

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  • 6 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Chosen, I'm finding it a little difficult to follow that very informative guide 'Here's an example of how a NURBS sphere can morph into a cube'. Have you a video tutorial or screenshots for that process instead?

I'm just one of these peeps that learn by doing and watching and not too keen on manuals etc.

I appreciate all your help before on the forums as I've read many of your posts.

I've created my Nurbs Cylinder which exports just fine and the same for the Cone (both requiring a little tinkering to work with the Adv sculpty exporter and SL).

TBH I'm more familiar with polygons BUT I am doing Maya tutorials and not just trying to jump in and 'make something in SL' straightaway.

Taz

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Tazmania Trefusis wrote:

Have you a video tutorial or screenshots for that process instead?


There's a screenshot right in my above post, showing the transitional stages between sphere and cuboid.

 

As for video, I whipped one up just now for you.  I didn't have time to edit it, narrate, or insert any comments.  I just recorded the process on-screen as I moved the vertices and hulls around to turn the sphere into a cuboid.  It's about five minutes, from start to finish. I hope you're able to follow it.

 

(Don't get spoiled, by the way, anyone.  I won't be able to do a video every time for every tutorial.)

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  • 7 months later...

I've created a simple NURBS cube in Maya, set all the parameters correctly, I assume, one never knows. But when I run the Maya Sculpty Exporter v1.03, I get the following error message that leaves me puzzled and frustrated:

// Error: line 433: Failed attempt to issue command to imageServer //

 

I have no idea what could be wrong, or what should be done to fix it, anyone please? Thank you in advance 

Xenos

PS Hope you don't mind, I also  posted this in an other thread. But this s one seems more appropriate for my question.

 

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Gotta love it whenever someone says, "I set everything correctly... but it still didn't work." :)

To be thorough, let's start with the sculpty basics.  When you say "simple NURBS cube", what do you mean exactly?  Did you make it the way I described earlier in this thread, or did you use Maya's default NURBS cube?  The latter won't work, for reasons well described throughout the thread.  Every sculpty must be a singular surface, or it's not a sculpty, by definition.

You said you're running version 1.03 of the exporter script.  Is there a reason why you chose that version?  The most recent one from Qarl is 1.04.  You might want to give the newer version a whirl, and see if that doesn't clear up the problem.

As for the error message itself, I've never encountered that particular error before. The message lists line 433 of the script as the culprit.  What does that line have written on it?  I have no way of checking it, myself, since I don't have the same version of the script that you have.

I'm not sure why the error mentions a server.  Are you trying to do some sort of cloud based rendering?  The exporter is meant to work only with Maya's local software renderer.

I wasn't able to find any reference to anything local called "imageServer" in any Maya documentation.  Unless I'm missing something, my guess is "imageServer" is either some function defined in the script, or something specific to whatever renderer you're trying to use.

 

 

 

By the way, for what it's worth, you avoid the problem altogether, not to mention make your life as a modeler easier in about a thousand different ways, if you forget about sculpties, and simply create mesh models.  Sculpties are all but obsolte these days.

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Thank you for the speedy reply, very much appreciated!

 I must  add, om 2 rare occasions, I did manage to export sculpty maps. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to reproduce this workflow on a regular basis. Naturally I tried to repeat it, with identical settings. I can't exclude i made some error somewhere, as I pointed out in my previous post ;). Btw, I work on a Mac, dunno if that's relevant?.

 - I suppose a Maya default NURBS cube, should have been exported as 6 seperate BMP's, one for each plane. But it didn't. The default NURBS plane 16x16 wasn't exported either (except for the 2 incidental cases). Both error messages:

 // Error: line 433: Failed attempt to issue command to imageServer //

 - I did in fact use v1.04, oblivious of the fact since the header of the dialogue panel says "Maya Sculptie Exporter v1.03". 

 the corresponding line 433 in this instance:

$object_copy);

 - I don't run any external render application anywhere. I run the app locally, relying on the MAYA software rendering. I checked my render settings within the MAYA app.

 - I've also been searching for a 'ImageServer" mention on the net in relation to MAYA, but left clueless. Apart from that, I have no knowledge of scripting whatsoever.

 - I still like sculpties for specific applications, but I love the detail of mesh. Prim count/land impact,  sometimes make me prefer one over the other.

Cheers :)

 

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I did manage to export multiple times after all:

- In the export dialogue panel, we see the "filename" field and next to that the "browse" button. After using the latter to specify both the file name and the directory to save the sculpty map in, the export procedure was succesfully completed.

I did check the bmp file in sculptypaint093 app, to get a quick impression. Me happy ;)

PS Still clueless about the error message though.

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Thanks for following up Xenos. When I first read your detailed reply, I thought, "OK, that makes some sense.  If you don't specify a file name and destination for output, than it's possible the whole thing might just refuse to work."  But then I tried to replicate the error by repeating your process.  I blanked out the file name, and abstained from choosing a destination folder, but I could not get the error to happen.  It just automatically used the name of the selected NURBS object for the file name, and for the destination folder, it defaulted to the last folder to which I happened to have saved a rendered image previously.

So, I'm still not sure where that error came from.  Had I been able to replicate it, I would have surmised that either the error message itself is just badly worded, or else perhaps imageServer is some component inside Maya, responsible for sending rendered image files to their specified destinations.  If the latter were the case, it could stand to reason that the thing might get upset if it doesn't know what file and/or folder it's supposed to be working with.  But, since I couldn't get the error to happen, I'm back to square one on this.  Not a clue, sorry.

In any case, it's good that you've got the problem solved.  Assuming it continues to work, don't change a thing.

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  • 10 months later...

Hello!! This forum has come closest to addressing some of the problems I've encountered trying to transfer anything from Maya into SL, either sculpt or mesh.

So first, why am I continuing to try and make sculpts with Maya?  I'm really struggling with this.  One of the main issues is - prim count.  I create jewelry, and there is a definite limit of prims in a complex piece - 254 actually.  This issue is actually an entirely different discussion - mostly having to do with the fact that a single mesh item can come in as high as 8 land impact, when the same sculpt is still....1.  Also, I'm still not at the skill level that I can create the entire piece in mesh, from armature to finished product to textured, let alone rigged (that is my goal though)  After all my research (over the last two months)  I've concluded that until I get there, I need to stick with trying to create sculpts.  I'm learning tons everyday, and my meshes in Maya are gorgeous, I just can't get from here to there.  Very frustrating.

So, here are pictures illustrating my problem:

My gorgeous build in Maya:

Maya starfish arm.JPG

My sculpt in SL :(

Maya Starfish Arm in SL.JPG   Maya Starfish Arm in SL side view.JPG

It's truncated.  I'm happy with the texture map though.  I feel like I'm missing a step, something in the baking?  Also, in the side view, you can see my edit outline, I had to map it as a torus since the seam for the nurb was broken when I mapped it as a sphere.

I've gone through, updated my sculpt mel script to 1.4 (practiced made the squared nurb sphere, that was very cool actually), finally stopped making sculpts with multiple nurbs and limited myself to the nurb sphere, deleted history, saved the sculpt file as a bitmap, double checked ALL the steps.  And the sculpt is still not coming out the way I think it should.

Yes, I'm just starting out, yes, I am fully aware that I'm probably spinning my wheels making sculpts in Maya and that I should only concentrate on mesh, but I've been able to hammer out sculpts in other programs with pretty good results and with some skill.  I would really like to make this work.  Any suggestions, further info, anything this group has would be very much appreciated!

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Amilia Zabaleta wrote:

So first, why am I continuing to try and make sculpts with Maya?  I'm really struggling with this.  One of the main issues is - prim count.  I create jewelry, and there is a definite limit of prims in a complex piece - 254 actually.  This issue is actually an entirely different discussion - mostly having to do with the fact that a single mesh item can come in as high as 8 land impact, when the same sculpt is still....1.

You seem to be focusing on all the wrong things.  You're not comparing apples to apples.  Let me explain.

First, I'm not sure why you feel it matters that you can't link more than 254 objects together in a linkset.  A single mesh object can have 32 times as many vertices in at as any single sculpty, and you could link 254 of those together, if you really wanted to.  That's potentially more shape detail than an entire sim full of prims, all in one little linkset.  (But don't do that, or you'll become the world's most prolific lag monster, which is not a title you want!)

Second, prim equivalency only matters for land impact, which does not apply to items that are worn by avatars.  This jewelry of yours is intended to be worn, right?  For worn/attached items, you shoud be focusing on the display cost, not the land impact.

Third, even if land impact were to somehow matter, the chances of something as small as a piece of jewelry ever having any significant land impact is extremely nill.  Even with the maximum possible number of vertces, a mesh object at the average size of a piece of jewelry will weigh in at under 200 LI, whch is far less than your 254 prims.

Fourth, and most importantly, you can make literally any shape in the universe out of an arbitrary mesh, whereas with a sculpty, you can only make a relative handful of shapes.  To make any decent looking piece of jewelry from sculpties, you'd need to use a whole bunch of them.  Chances are almost 100% that that collection of sculpties will have a higher display cost, and a higher land impact, than an equivalently shaped (properly made) mesh model.

 

In summary, mesh is a whole different ball game from from prims and sculpties, and you do yourself a disservice by trying to make such comparisons.  Mesh is how 3D modeling is supposed to work (and how it has ALWAYS worked everywhere beside SL).  By continuing to hold on to the backwards thinking from SL's convoluted early days, you're only holding yourself back.  I strongly sugget you let go of all that, so you can open your mind toward learning how 3D modeling works for real.  Trust me, your models will look better, and they'll cost less, too.

 


Amilia Zabaleta wrote:

Also, I'm still not at the skill level that I can create the entire piece in mesh, from armature to finished product to textured, let alone rigged (that is my goal though)

If that's your goal, great.  But consider that every minute you sepnd futzing around with sculpties only puts your goal one minute further away.  Sculpties won't help you learn mesh modeling, but learning mesh modeling WILL absolutely help you make sculpties (and better things that sculpties, of course).

The reason you're struggling is because you tried to put the cart before the horse.  I warn people about this all the time.  No one, absolutely no one, no matter how smart or talented they might be, can learn this stuff out of order.  It just doesn't work that way.

When you try to learn a 3D modeling program for the first time, by saying to yourself, "I'm want to know how to make ______," that is ALWAYS a recipe for disaster.  It never ever works, no matter what the blank happens to be.

Here's what I'd suggest you do.  Forget all about SL stuff for the next 7 days, and instead, go through all the tutorials in the Getting Started section of your Maya help file.  Don't skip anything, and don't go out of order.  When you're done, you'll have a solid mastery of the basics of Maya, which includes the basics of mesh modeling, and rigging.   From there, all it will take is some practice, and you'll be able to make whatever you want.

Go in the right order, and it's easy.  Continue to go out of order, and you'll only keep tearing your hair out.

 


Amilia Zabaleta wrote:

I've concluded that until I get there, I need to stick with trying to create sculpts.

Bad conclusion.  See above. :)

 

 

 


Amilia Zabaleta wrote:

I'm learning tons everyday, and my meshes in Maya are gorgeous, I just can't get from here to there.  Very frustrating.


You've lost me now.  If you've made such gorgeous mesh models, why wouldn't you just upload them as is, rather than try to recreate them as sculpties?  I feel like I must be misunderstanding what you're trying to say.

 

 

 


Amilia Zabaleta wrote:

It's truncated.  I'm happy with the texture map though.  I feel like I'm missing a step, something in the baking?  Also, in the side view, you can see my edit outline, I had to map it as a torus since the seam for the nurb was broken when I mapped it as a sphere.

I've gone through, updated my sculpt mel script to 1.4 (practiced made the squared nurb sphere, that was very cool actually), finally stopped making sculpts with multiple nurbs and limited myself to the nurb sphere, deleted history, saved the sculpt file as a bitmap, double checked ALL the steps.  And the sculpt is still not coming out the way I think it should.

Before we go any further, let's talk terminology for a moment.  There's no such thing as "a nurb".  NURBS is an acronym (stands for non-uniform rational B-spline).  The S at the end doesn't make it plural.  It's the subject of the whole thing.  Without the S, it becomes nonsensical, as all you have is a bunch of adjectives with nothing to describe.

The logic of it could be described like this.  I've got a spline.  What kind of spline, you ask?  Why, it's a B-spline.  What kind of B-spline?  It's the rational kind, a rational B-spline.  What kind of rational B-spline?  It's the non-uniform kind.  It's a non-uniform rational B-spline.  If I were to remove the S, I'd have just non-uniform rational B, which wouldn't make any sense.

The proper thing to say rather than "a nurb" is "a NURBS surface" or "a NURBS curve" or "a NURBS model", etc.

 

As for why one end of the sculpty ended up flattened, there could be a number of causes for that.  Did you remember to delete history and freeze transformations, prior to sculpt map export?  Did you ensure that the model is not larger than 10 units on all three axies?  Is the sculpt map rotated to the correct orientation?

Examining the scupt map could help you narrow things down.  If that flattening is cintained within the map, you'll see it, as a stripe of realtively solid coloroing, along the top or the bottom of the canvas.  If that's present, then someting's probably wrong with the source model (lke maybe it's too large along the length axis).  If that's not present, then it's probably a rotation problem.  Since you said you're having seam problems, I suspect the latter is the case.

 


Amilia Zabaleta wrote:

Yes, I'm just starting out, yes, I am fully aware that I'm probably spinning my wheels making sculpts in Maya and that I should only concentrate on mesh, but I've been able to hammer out sculpts in other programs with pretty good results and with some skill.  I would really like to make this work.  Any suggestions, further info, anything this group has would be very much appreciated!

 

Here's one additional piece of advice, if you're determined to stick with sculpties.  For best results, your NURBS sphere should have 16 sections and 16 spans, and the smoothness setting in your Maya vieweport should be at level 2.  (Simply press 2 on the keyboard, and the active viewport will switch to level 2.)  This will give you the most accurate preview of what your sculpty will look like in SL.

Remember, NURBS modeling is different from poly modeling.  The sculpty is meant to be a very close approximation of the NURBS surface, not necessarily an exact replica of it.  The polygon-based sculpty creation tools you might have used in other programs were developed by enterprising SL residents, who wanted to try to force sculpties to be a little more precise than they were intended to to be.  (Qarl affectionately reffered to these people as "pixel pushers".)  But even with those, it's still not always exact, as you're severly limited by the 8-bit precesion inherent to the RGB sculpt map image.

If you want exacting precision, that's what mesh is for.  Sculpties were only ever intended to be a stopgap, to allow SL to do a little more with its then exisitng architecture, while proper mesh support was still in the works.  Now that SL finally can use the same kind of 3D models as every other platform, yes, you are indeed just spinning your wheels by continuing to focus on sculpties.

You paid $3750 for Maya.  It would be a shame to use it just for something so narrowly applicable as sculpties.  Learn standard mesh modeling techniques, and you can make content for any and every platform under the sun, SL included.  But just learn sculpties, and you're stuck in just a very small segment of only SL.  And I'll repeat once again that learning universally applicable techniques will help you make sculpties along with everything else, but learning to make sculpties won't help you do anything at all besides just sculpties.  Logically, it's pretty clear which direction to expend your time and effort, and it's NOT the sculpty direction.

As I said before, the very best thing you can do for yourself right now is forget all about whatever it is you think you want to learn how to do in Maya, and just learn Maya itself.  Those introductory tutorials are part of what you spent all that money for, so use them.  Every single Maya user on this planet started out with those.  There's no better way.

Once you've been through all of those, you'll have a solid workng knowledge of Maya's baics, and of universal 3D modeling basics, and you won't even be thinking anymore about the kinds of questions you have right now.  Those will be long solved, and then you'll have a whole different level of questions that right now you simply aren't yet euipped to even ask, let alone have answered.

I say it over and over again.  There's only one way to learn Maya.  Do it the right way, and it's easy.  Try to do it through brute force, or by cherry-picking just the things you think you want to know, and you'll experience nothing but frustration.   So, patience, Grasshopper.  Put the cart back behind the horse where it belongs, and you'll do just fine.

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Well...I guess I got told.


Thank you for the lecture about why I'm wasting my time on sculpts - I was trying to avoid that by explaining my CURRENT position (right now, before I have tons of stuff to produce by the end of April; not in three months, when I will have more time to actually spend creating mesh because I have done all the tutorials I could find).  Believe me, if it looks worth my time, I will commit to that.  Also, I'm working with a special 3-month trial of Maya, still haven't committed the full monetary amount, so the jury is still out as to whether I will put the money on the cracker barrel.

 

That having been said, I will try your suggestions, but I was also wondering if some of the struggle with sculpts (I know I know, please no lecture, just treat this question as a hypothetical) has to do with UV maps not "sticking" in place.  If you could address that, thank you in advance.


Also so sorry I got the word NURBS wrong.  I know what you were talking about, my mistake.  *retreats yelping into her comfortable cave*

 

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That might be the longest and most condescending lecture on the forums that I've ever seen.

It took you thousands of words of nonsensical opinion before getting to the point.

The forum is not a good place to display serious personality issues.

 

BTW, Good luck with that...

 

 

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Amilia Zabaleta wrote:

Well...I guess I got told.

 

Thank you for the lecture about why I'm wasting my time on sculpts - I was trying to avoid that by explaining my CURRENT position (right now, before I have tons of stuff to produce by the end of April; not in three months, when I will have more time to actually spend creating mesh because I have done all the tutorials I could find).  Believe me, if it looks worth my time, I will commit to that.  Also, I'm working with a special 3-month trial of Maya, still haven't committed the full monetary amount, so the jury is still out as to whether I will put the money on the cracker barrel.

Hey, you asked. :)

 

 

I wasn't trying to lecture you, just for lecturing's sake.  Everything I said about the do's and don'ts of learning Maya is absolutely true, and 100% vital to take to heart, if you want to be successful with it.  I've been doing this for a long time, I've helped an awful lot of people learn the program, and I've never encountered anyone who was able to do it by going out of order.  It just doesn't work that way.

It's up to you, though, how you want to proceed, obviously.

In light of this new information, explainig that you've got a project deadline in just a few short weeks, I would suggest that this is not the best time to try to learn new software.  I'd strongly recommend you go back to whatever software you're already familiar with, and use that to finish the work.  When you're done, then come back to Maya. 

I tend to learn new programs faster than anyone else I've ever met, and even I make it a rule never to use unfamiliar tools when I'm under deadline (unless project requirements demand it, which they sometimes do). 

Again, it's up to you whether you want to take any, all, or none of my advice.  Buit as long as we're both here, I'd feel remiss if I didn't at least offer it.

 


Amilia Zabaleta wrote:

That having been said, I will try your suggestions, but I was also wondering if some of the struggle with sculpts (I know I know, please no lecture, just treat this question as a hypothetical) has to do with UV maps not "sticking" in place.  If you could address that, thank you in advance.

Could you please explain what you mean by "UV maps not sticking in place"?  I'd like to help, but I could think of about 10,000 things that that might mean, and at least 9,999 of them aren't it.  :)

 

What I can say in the mean time is this.  NURBS surfaces don't really have arbitrarily changeable UV's like polygonal surfaces do.  In a NURBS surface, the isoparms themselves constitute an implicit UV set..  Since every NURBS surface is inherently a perfectly rectangular grid of isoparms, the UV layout is always a perfecty rectangular grid of quads.

Changing that implicit UV layout is not a trivial affair.  It's highly unlikely you might have done it by accident.  You have to take special steps to create an explicit UV set that can be manipulated in the UV Texture Editor, and that can only be done last, after all your modeling is finished.  After you've created the explicit UV set, if you move so much as a single CV, or otherwise alter the model in any way at all, the UV's will instantly snap back to their original locations, effectively erasing your explicit UV's.

For sculpties, you should always use the default implicit UV's.  Sculpties require a perfectly uniform UV layout, exactly like the one that NURBS surfaces inherently have.  This is one of the many reasons why NURBS make such good source models for sculpties.  Sculpties behave like NURBS in several key ways, and this is one of them.

 

As for the UV mapping of in-world sculpties, those cannot be changed at all, ever.  By definition, every sculpty has the exact same UV layout, just that same perfectly uniform grid of quads.  If a model had any other layout, it would no longer be a sculpty.

 

Add those two things up, and I'm sure you can see why it's difficult for me to know what you might mean by "UV maps not sticking in place".   Of all the types of the 3D objects in the world, you're working with the two whose UV mapping cannot be changed.

 

 


Amilia Zabaleta wrote:

Also so sorry I got the word NURBS wrong.  I know what you were talking about, my mistake.  *retreats yelping into her comfortable cave*

No worries, and do try not to be too uncomfortable as you venture into all this new territory. :)

One thing I always hope to do when responding to forum posts is help not just the author of the question, but also everyone else reading.  Most people who read the forums never post, after all.  I know from long experience that when terminology is misused, it can confuse a lot of readers.  So, I try to spell things out as unambiguously as I can, whenever I encounter little snafus like that.

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Gooden Uggla wrote:

That might be the longest and most condescending lecture on the forums that I've ever seen.

It took you thousands of words of nonsensical opinion before getting to the point.

The forum is not a good place to display serious personality issues.

 

BTW, Good luck with that...

 

 

There was nothing condescending in any of it, Gooden.  There is, however, plenty of condescention in telling someone they have personality issues.  You'd do well to consider that.

 

Tell me, where exactly was this nonsensical opinion you speak of? 

You say there were thousands of words worth of it before I formulated a point.  You'd do well not to exaggerate, especailly when the post is right there for all to read.  There were actually not just one, but many important points throughout the post, and I got to several of them right in the first few sentences.  Let's examine at the facts of what was written, shall we?

FACT:  There were only 1523 words in the entire post, and I used the first 107 of them to make my first point, which was about some of the important differences between traditional SL linksets and mesh models.  Almost nothing in those 107 words was a matter of opionion.  It was mostly about numbers.

FACT:  The next 44 words were used to explain that land impact does not apply to worn/attached objects in SL.  This is also not a matter of opinion.

FACT:  The following 64 words explained that small objects like jewelry always have small prim equivalencies.  Again, not opinion.

FACT:  The 78 words after that were about the fact that mesh models are capable of producing more shapes at lower costs than sculpties.  Once again, not opinion, fact.

FACT:  The above accounting of words constitutes the first 20% of the post.  Virtually all of it was a listing of facts and figures, and every bit of it was 100% on topic.

 

FACT:  The paragraph beginning with the words "In summary", was the first time I expressed any opininion at all about what all the above facts and figures could mean.  That paragraph was all of 98 words, and it came at the end, not the beginning, of its section of the post.  Further, it could hardly be described as "nonsensical".

 

Need I go on with the word counting, or can we agree that the opinion you went out of your way to express was exaggeration at best?

 

 

I'm trying hard to see what could be construed as condescending, in your eyes.  Was it perhaps that I attempted to steer the author toward learning in a different way than she had already been trying?  Well, let's examine the facts of that, as well.

FACT:  On the subject of how to, and how not to, learn Maya, I've given the exact same advice literally hundreds of times over the years on this forum and elsewhere (including earlier in this very same thread, in fact), and to my knowledge, no one has ever had a problem with it except for you.

FACT:  When people try to learn it out of order, they ALWAYS experience frustration. In all the years I've been working in this industry, I've never ever encountered so much as a single exception to this rule.

FACT:  When people learn it in the intended order, as spelled out in the tutorials I mentioned, almost everyone who makes the attempt experiences complete success in learning the program,.

FACT:  Each and every person I know of who, after initially having struggled with Maya, has followed my advice about going back to the beginning to learn it the right way has seen his or her frustrations melt away, and has ended up learning the program with relative ease.

 

Oh, and here's another fact for you.  I don't mind sharing that the person who asked the question PM'ed me privately, to make sure I'd seen the post, and to ask me personally to respond to it.  If she didn't want my kind of reply, I very much doubt she would have gone to so much trouble to ask for it.  My writings are all over this forum.  It's certainly not hard to guess what kind of answer I'm going to give to a question like this.

 

 

And here's one more.  The average adult reads at about 250 to 300 words per minute.  Therefore, reading 1500 words takes just five to six minutes.

I personally do not conisder a five miniute read to be a long read, but if you do, then I cordially invite you not to read my posts.  If your attention span really is that short, then few if any of my posts are are going to be to your liking.  Most of them are that length or longer.  They're all full of good information, and whether you like it or not, good information takes more than a few seconds to explain.

 

 

As for the subject of what the forums are and are not good for displaying, I can't say I agree with you that they're any kind of accurate indicator of anybody's real personality.  You get only a very tiny sliver of a slice of who someone is via this kind of medium, nothing more.

That said, I think that when someone chimes in to a discussion, only to badmouth other participants, rather than contribute any infomration on the actual topic, that constitutes a far larger and more direct display of personality issues than anything the on-topic participants could possibly have written.

With that in mind, do you have anuhting useful to contribute on the topic, or do you really think insulting me is a productive use of your time?

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Gooden Uggla wrote:

I didn't bother reading that mess. The fact that you wasted so much time responding just confirms the diagnosis. Good luck in your future therapy.

What wonderfully circular logic.  Dish out an insult, wait for a reponse, and then claim the response confirms the insult.  Which playground did you learn that one on?

I also can't help but be amused by how you didn't read the post, yet somehow you know it's a mess.  It's all of a three-minute read.  That's really too much for you?  Really?  Alrighty, then.  Sorry to hear your attention capacity is so lacking.

Once again I'll ask, do you have anything useful to contribute on the topic, or do you really think coming here just to try to insult me is a good use of your time?

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