Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
OptimoMaximo

LoDs creation

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

This is a little feedback request to share thoughts about something i've been working on.

So, the thing is (preamble): when making rigged meshes, creating the LoDs may be a painful process, at least in Maya. The models theirselves might be not a problem, but when it comes to binding them to the skeleton, we get a lot of trouble: the skinClusters associated to the LoDs models and the highest LoD MUST match in their number of joints, otherwise, as result, the uploaded rigged model constantly jitters around. It's a painful problem that can be fixed by cross-checking the original model and removing/adding joints in order to get the skinClusters to list the same exact list of joints. Time and work consuming, especially if our models are made of many parts. Thing that leads a lot of people to use the uploader's GLOD generator.

Before anyone comes in with the usual "Blender does it easy, Blender is better", we should agree that we don't agree on this point. So this comment aside, let me explain what i've done to work around this.

First, many models can be simply reduced using the polyReduce function in Maya, where it excels: preserves UVs the shape and the mesh borders, and doesn't create non-manifold geometry. Plus, you can input a precise target triangle count that you actually get in the resulting model. Also, you can designate edges to be preserved and the reduction algorithm actually preserves them.

So i've created a script for Maya that does exactly that: it takes any number of rigged objects from your selection and puts them through a polyReduce pass reducing the triangle count following the script's interface values (set by the user), renames them after their main LoD model and does the binding, skinCluster check-and-match and, finally, copies the weights from the original model. IF the options for edge preservation are checked, it also passes them to the polyReduce function and the output models reflect all the settings.

In addition to this, there's the option to do the skin binding of any object  as LoD model, in case the user wants to manually create their own, skipping all the rigging issues part altogether, performing skinCLuster checks and matching automatically. Moreover, for debug, there's a button to check the number of influences (joints) on the models and make sure they match.

Now my questions are: what would you see fit to further automate/customise this process? What other user cases this tool might be missing, in your opinion?

Here is a screenshot of the window interface

Options.png.f41a3cd5d8c0a78935cca4d0d56e0c86.png

 

Edited by OptimoMaximo
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for the amazing discussion and great deal of comments, ideas and opinions. Apparently, after all the discussions about bad practices, nobody is really interested in the topic and the status quo wins. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, OptimoMaximo said:

Thank you everyone for the amazing discussion and great deal of comments, ideas and opinions. Apparently, after all the discussions about bad practices, nobody is really interested in the topic and the status quo wins. 

I think for a lot of folks your ideas were beyond their "pay grade".  Since my rigging experience is very simplistic I had no clue what you were saying. I am sure it was very smart though (honestly) :D.     

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OptimoMaximo said:

Thank you everyone for the amazing discussion and great deal of comments, ideas and opinions.

I don't really feel I can comment much on it since I don't use Maya and I don't make fitted mesh. Judging by the description it looks like a really good project though.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, OptimoMaximo said:

Thank you everyone for the amazing discussion and great deal of comments, ideas and opinions. Apparently, after all the discussions about bad practices, nobody is really interested in the topic and the status quo wins. 

Ya, well, I read it.  Decided you were a lot cleverer than me, and richer too, since you use Maya, and that was that.  The sarcasm isn't really all that helpful, which is a pity, because most of what you say is worth reading.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Add me to the list of people with little useful to say too, though I'm chuffed I was able to follow the jist of it without having used Maya or rigged anything. Maybe that helped though, because I didn't get overly caught up in details.

This is the first I've seen the thread and I largely clicked on it because it came up on the Forums overview page and I tend to write LoD instead of LOD so I wondered if it was an old one of mine I'd lost track of :). And besides, it's always good to learn more about LoD.

Anyway, what I understand it sounds good. As for suggestions, all I can say is, it's August. Things tend to be a bit slow so maybe give it more than a couple of days?

Just occured to me - are there many here who make clothes? Most of the regular posters I can think of seem to work more with rezzed objects. Maybe a cross post in the Fashion Creation forum? Though that's been over-run by people looking for help wearing their clothes not making them.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Chic Aeon @anna2358 @Bitsy Buccaneer @ChinRey 

Thanks for saying something at least. What my question is intended toward isn't highly technical at all, but it's open. By that i mean that if you don't know something and ask a queestion, that may also spill into something else that i had not actually thought myself and, besides, the process isn't Maya-specific in any case. Whatever I might be clarifying for you applies to any rigging-capable 3D software because, ultimately, they have to comply to what SL expects. So for example i used the words polyReduce and skinCluster, which for a Blender user can be translated into Decimate and Vertex Groups. Things in different softwares may work differently, internally, but what we're aiming for is an output from them with a certain set of data included.

Also, if another software user, say 3DSMax or Blender, finds theirselves in a specific situation while working in a similar process, and shares their workflow issues, not only I can address those usercases in my plug in, but they can also point the plug in creator for their software to this thread, who can pick up enough info to create a software specific plug in following these guidelines.

4 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

I think for a lot of folks your ideas were beyond their "pay grade".

Hmmm i don't know if that's a metaphore, but if it's intended as an actual financial issue, any serious creator (with a revenue from SL) who started with Blender can transpose their workflow into Maya, using a student version to learn until they are ready for the full time switch and be able to pay a subscription. As a former Blender user myself, rigging is far less of a pain in Maya and the tools like copy weights are way better and that improves on production speed (= more releases). Transposing your knowledge from a software to another isn't that difficult, as you're basically dealing with the same pieces of data that any mesh object must have by definition.

1 hour ago, anna2358 said:

Ya, well, I read it.  Decided you were a lot cleverer than me

This isn't true :)

1 hour ago, anna2358 said:

and richer too, since you use Maya

not richer, but i invest a part of my earnings in it. Because i can't afford to not afford it.

1 hour ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

Just occured to me - are there many here who make clothes?

It's a good question, but rigged meshes don't end at clothing. There are full avatars and animesh objects that are rigged too, therefore also those types of content could take advantage of such a tool. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Unfortunately I don't use Maya so I felt that whatever I would say would have be misguided, at best.

Hey Kyrah, you posted exactly while i hit the submit button :)

As i was saying in my previous post, my question is not intended as a technical talk specific to Maya. It's more about a pipeline streamlining-tool creation, it's like talking about a process rather than a tool (or a set of tools).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, OptimoMaximo said:

not richer, but i invest a part of my earnings in it. Because i can't afford to not afford it.

I apologise.  I keep forgetting that some people make a living from SL.  For me it's just a hobby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, OptimoMaximo said:

Hey Kyrah, you posted exactly while i hit the submit button :)

As i was saying in my previous post, my question is not intended as a technical talk specific to Maya. It's more about a pipeline streamlining-tool creation, it's like talking about a process rather than a tool (or a set of tools).

It's nice, do you have access to multiple algorythms for the reduction? That and a preview of each, if that's possible, would probably be nice?

You might also want to make those tickboxes per lod specific because sometimes a solution is better than another at a lower lod.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At @OptimoMaximo

 

I simply meant that I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what you were talking about --- and hence could not respond  with even a semblance of a viable comment -- let alone add to the conversation LOL.      Had nothing to do with money, but knowledge (and sometimes I guess those do go together).   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

It's nice, do you have access to multiple algorythms for the reduction?

There are two different algorithms i had to support for back compatibility. From version 2014, the algorithm was changed with a better one, but since i know for sure that there is people on older versions of Maya, i added the option for compatibility reasons only. 

19 minutes ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

That and a preview of each, if that's possible, would probably be nice?

A lot nice, but there's no way to generate a preview. Would be very nice indeed. But the automation process takes like 1.3 seconds to generate all 3 LoDs and do the rigging for each selected object. Fast enough for a few iterations to find the best settings, i think.

22 minutes ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

You might also want to make those tickboxes per lod specific because sometimes a solution is better than another at a lower lod.

 This is true, and i will think of a way to enable that for post-2014 versions! Good thinking!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, anna2358 said:

I apologise.  I keep forgetting that some people make a living from SL.  For me it's just a hobby.

It's ok, no need to apologise. My SL income serves to load off subscription and bills expenses from my main RL income. If, one day, you'll feel that you want to start rigging, someone could have picked this thread up and made a plug in off of it for Blender, which would help you :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From your clarifications, my reaction is that anything which makes the process simpler increases the chances I'll actually be able to manage something rigged. If I've understood your project correctly, it sounds great and would be very useful for many people. I wish I had more experience to be able to offer concrete and useful suggestions on it. Good luck with it. This forum is such a tiny microcosm of users, so don't be put off by, well, anything. Your project might be the step which helps someone make the leap successfully :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...