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The 3D Thread


suzakuseven
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Oh, yeah, I know that much. I try to create everything in quads wherever possible, is that still relevant/important?

I tried to give a simplified explanation in post #360, here it is again:

"The traditional wisdom" would state that you should stay away from using triangles, yes, but sadly real life is more complicated.

First off, everything onscreen is composed of texels (textured triangles) anyway. Even if you have four-sided face, your renderer will split this into two triangles at render-time. If you had a six-sided face, or eight-sided one, your renderer would likewise split that too into triangles.

The problem comes because you can't predict necessarily how a renderer handles that splitting. Different renderers do it differently, and the same renderer might split the same poly differently depending on the angle.

Four-sided polys are ok, because how they split is predictable (the order in which the points are given to the renderer dictates it, and most modelling packages allow you to change this manually, "turning edges" or similar).

Whether or not triangles are ok depends on certain factors. On a flat surface, if they're coplanar with something else, you can get away with some triangles. Also, modelling is a visual medium; provided you're not working with simulation or architecture, if it looks right then it's right; subsequently if it saves you a lot of polys, you can stick some triangles in here and there.

Remember though triangles cause some problems too. Sometimes they don't illuminate correctly, which can cause problems with specular highlights (it causes problems with diffuse lighting too, just the effects aren't as acute). Also, if you're using a skeleton to deform a character for animation, triangles can deform in weird ways. Lastly, if you subdivide/tessalate your polys to make things smoother (usually when you're making a high poly model for normal mapping) triangles will make nicks, scrapes and uneven bits.

Conversely, if you're modelling something like my Advance Wars models, you can use a lot of triangles because they're extremely low-poly and they're not going to be deformed, subdivided or even lit.

Generally speaking, modellers list their triangle counts as opposed to polycounts. You should try to specify this too. For example, my GM Custom model is ~4000 triangles. If I said 4000 polys, I could potentially mean as much as 8000 triangles, or as little as 4001. Using triangles is a lot more informative. Often if I look at someone's portfolio and I read "3000 polys" I unfortunately always wonder if that means "6000 triangles". A difference like that in polycount can make an impressive piece of work into a very poor one.

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So I haven't been around for a while, just been so busy with uni work! No time to even play games, never mind mince about on a games forum! :lol:

But I've made loads of progress with my uni assignment in the last 2 months. Modelling is done, texturing is just finished in the last few days and I'm onto setting up the lighting now before setting up some basic camera animation and rendering all before May 1st deadline!

I wanted to get some foggy atmosphere in there but don't really have the time for it anymore so some volumtric lighting will have to do to set the scene.

Here's some various in progress shots from the last 2 months anyway up to todays lighting tests.

Any advice on what to do for camera? I'm doing about 1-2 minutes of video for it, just wanting to show most of the scene with some slow panning camera angles, cutting between sections. Ideally it's to be used as a showreel for potential jobs but I know it's not good enough for that seeing as I still have another year in uni anyway.

There is supposed to be sound in it, but I'm not sure what to do. I know in the grand scheme of things, sound doesnt matter for a portfolio piece as I just want a job in 3D modelling but I'm undecided as to whether I should animate the camera around a soundtrack so it cuts and moves in time with the music or just chuck a soundtrack over the top of it when I'm finished and thats it.

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And since we're on the discussion of poly counts, this is 59,000 quad polys, I use Lightwave and work in quads, so I convert to tri's and says it's 133,00! Constantly worked on keeping it as low as possible so it rendered fast. And the final shots with the volumetric lighting and shadows on and 1xAA, render at 20 seconds/frame. So once I ramp up the AA a bit, I'll be happy with 1 minute/frame render which is what I originally intended.

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Looking nice, though the ceiling could be lit a bit more? It's taking away from the rest of the environment at the moment, the ceiling support beams really don't look like they're connecting..

Oh, and Asura, thanks, I'm rereading this whole thread now, theres some really handy tips.

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Yeh I knew that was a problem but didn't really think about it properly, cheers for highlighting. Always helps when other people point out things!

Sorted it now, didn't want to change the lights or add more so just upped the luminosity for the ceiling and it worked a treat I think! :)

Doing the first set of renders overnight now for a 15 second camera pan. See how it turns out when I get up in the morning, better go well for 450 frames at 2 minutes a frame!

Here's the updated shots with the ceiling fixed.

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Is anyone using Max 2010 yet? 2010 sounds so damn futuristic doesn't it... I'm guessing they thought the same, cos they've rijigged the look of the UI. :) I quite like it actually, it was looking a bit old in the tooth.

The Edit UVW window FINALLY has some 'Allign to Horizontal/Vertical' buttons. Unfortunately, instead of moving them all to the furthest point (as with Maya :P), it averages them out instead...but oh well, it's still a damn sight better than using the scale tool.* I'm actually perplexed by the ability to weld ANY two UVs together in Max. Why on earth would you want to stitch points that aren't adjacent on the model? It just makes things a fucking nightmare if you ever need to unstitch them. I also wish 'select element' was a key press (like Maya's select shell :D), instead of a damn check box...makes separating out the UVs so much easier. You wonder if Autodesk have people to test the UI and provide feedback? It's the little things like the rotate 90º buttons being the wrong way around, etc, that could make life so much easier if someone there actually used it for 5 minutes and thought 'oh yeah, that's shit!'

*Actually, turns out it's really temperamental...works one minute, not the next.

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Why on earth would you want to stitch points that aren't adjacent on the model? It just makes things a fucking nightmare if you ever need to unstitch them.

I guess if you you have multiple referenced objects with identical UVs (wheels on a car or something) which you know you will never want to move, then it stops you accidentily moving the UVs.

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Looking nice. The next thing I might humble suggest is getting those shadows soft edged with radiosity/ AO . This will increase the render time, but will make a world of difference :)

I wanted to do radiosity from the start but I really just don't have the time considering the scene I'm rendering just now is going at about 4 minutes a frame! And I'm doing in excess of 3000 frames! If I render it again though for a portfolio in the future then I guess I could use radiosity then when I have no time limit.

Apart from that though I'm really happy with the way it's turning out, I'll be sure to post the final video when it's done.

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Well I don't use Max if thats what you're talking about but I don't think it's precalculated at all ever. Radiosity is a realistic lighting solution where it calculates the bounces of light off numerous objects, so it has to be calculated when you click render. There are various caches and baking solutions but as far as I know, radiosity adds alot of time when done properly to a render.

It was a toss up for Radiosty for the more realistic shadows, or volumetrics for the fog/particle effect and sort of bloom lighting, and I think volumetrics suited the needs more for this time for me.

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Well I don't use Max if thats what you're talking about but I don't think it's precalculated at all ever. Radiosity is a realistic lighting solution where it calculates the bounces of light off numerous objects, so it has to be calculated when you click render. There are various caches and baking solutions but as far as I know, radiosity adds alot of time when done properly to a render.

In a static scene, Radiosity should only have to be calculated once. The solution only changes when something in the scene moves, and it only needs changing when something in the scene moves significantly. If you can set it up, you should be able to use radiosity for shadow mapping, which will give you an enormous increase in visual quality.

You want to "bake" the shadows into the scene from the radiosity renderer if you can, believe me, it'll look MASSIVELY better.

Also, four minutes a frame?!? What hardware are you using?

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I know it looks massively better, I tried it but the lighting wasn't what I really wanted so had to go with the hard edged shadows. Using 4gb ram on a q6600 quad core. The scene is rendered in about 30 seconds then another 90 for volumetrics, then I have two passes of AA on. It takes alot longer on the several other pcs I've tried! That's for a scene which involved looking through 5 volumetric lights at once though, the other scenes are under two minutes with the less complex lighting. I didn't expect it to be any lower, maybe Lightwave is just has a slow render engine?

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it stops you accidentily moving the UVs.

Never gunna happen. :wub:

Btw, I think Max only looked radically different to me because it defaulted to the dark-grey theme... there's a light grey theme that looks pretty much the same. It seems the copy i've downloaded has been stripped of all themes (and god knows what else), so i'm fetching it again from an alternative source.

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Yeah, i'll probably stick with it now.

The thing i'm finding with Max 2010, if I make shortcuts in the 'Quick Access Toolbar', they all have the same grey box icon, which makes things rather awkward...that can't be right surely? Maybe the icons were stripped out too.

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Snip

Jesus! No wonder it's creaking! Are the volume lights really that neccesary to your scene?

Well maybe they don't really need to be there but they do what I need them to and I don't know any other way! I wanted the fog style and particle effect given by the lights so had to use them unfortunately! It's looking good to me anyway so I'm happy with it. About half way through rendering now. And it's not due until May 1st so plenty time! :-)

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Is this the full release already or a beta?

It's fully out, and I believe this is it, but like I say, I think it's been trimmed slightly by ol' Long john Silver. It's also the 32-bit version...and i'd like 64-bit. I'm now downloading what is hopefully the 'full DVD' as stated, but it's going to take a while.

I remember rendering a scene that took 1 hour per frame, and frequently crashed. Those were the days. <_<

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haha one hour a frame that must have really sucked! I just got home to find 300 frames rendered in what was estimated to be 10 hours but was actually done in 5 so it was rendering some of them at under a minute a frame with two AA passes too! That's much quicker! :-)

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Phew, just got back from my University's graduate expo (GradEx at Staffs Uni), pitching final year project work and the like to industry peeps. There was a competition judged by the industry people and I won the overall award for my M. C. Escher Unreal mod! :wacko:

Got a load of business cards and people asking me to call them too about possible jobs! Can't believe it. £300 prize also (which will cover half the rent thats due :)). :angry:

Has been 8 house standing in an unventilated room with 50 games design students though! I stink... back to work now though, got a charachter to rig and animate in Maya for Monday. :s

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Got a load of business cards and people asking me to call them too about possible jobs! Can't believe it. £300 prize also (which will cover half the rent thats due ^_^). :)

You did well then, chase them up while the iron is still hot. Despite all the various bits of work I've posted throughout the thread, I've never received so much as a callback.

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Nice one fatbob! You must be chuffed with that! ^_^

I've also got a character to rig and animate now too. Although I hate character animation so I'm gonna probably be rushing through it and handing in a piece of crap.

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Nice one fatbob! You must be chuffed with that! ^_^

I've also got a character to rig and animate now too. Although I hate character animation so I'm gonna probably be rushing through it and handing in a piece of crap.

Cheers guys, i'm so burnt out at the moment there no way the animation is going to be good either, the body model is ok (is goes with the head I posted back a couple of pages ago) but i'm going to have another go animating in Max rather than Maya I think when i've had a break for a few days. :P

You did well then, chase them up while the iron is still hot. Despite all the various bits of work I've posted throughout the thread, I've never received so much as a callback.

Its a good point, if I leave it even a week they will likely forget about the whole thing, Monday morning i'll make a few calls. :)

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Totally know how you feel mate! I've bene on this modelling project for MONTHS spending so much time on it every day and it's eventually nearing a finish with 6 days to go, I'm trying to get it rendered and edited while still having two other projects do, one as a character animation which I detest and have no idea how to do and one is making a 2D Flash game which I also can't stand and have no idea where to start on how to make it!

I'm just starting to lose interest in it all now and want the year to be over, hate having to do classes that I don't like and don't plan on doing when I leave uni. But that's life!

Although one bit of good news is w got marks back for a piece of animation I done with a car several weeks ago, didn't really put alot of time into it at all but I got 69%, just off an A. Gives me a bit of confidence but obviously doing character animation is totally different, I really can't make it work right at all. Using IK but it's just crap and so am I! ^_^

Yeh thats my rant over, think I needed to get that out, I feel better now! :)

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I'm trying to get it rendered and edited while still having two other projects do, one as a character animation which I detest and have no idea how to do and one is making a 2D Flash game which I also can't stand and have no idea where to start on how to make it!

Really try to manage your time. Remember, you could have a superb, industry-standard Unreal map for one module, but then still fail your degree if you don't do the others.

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Really try to manage your time. Remember, you could have a superb, industry-standard Unreal map for one module, but then still fail your degree if you don't do the others.

Well I don't think I'm in danger in failing just yet! I'm alot more competant than the majority of students in my year! ^_^

But I obviously it's more important to spend the majority of time on the subject I prefer as I wouldn't want a job doing anything else anyway!

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I posted my moans at the Autodesk forums... http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/forums/...717/P20/#118581

Thing is... how does anything ever improve significantly when a company has such a stranglehold as Autodesk does? I'm sure someone told me ages ago, but I had forgotten they had Softimage too! What incentive have they got to do anything about all the tiny faults? If they don't maintain some precise, cynical balancing act between the programs, one of them could die altogether as everyone migrates...maybe that's what they plan to do eventually though? It's the same reason Microsoft's software goes through a million revisions, and still remains mostly ARSE, there's just no competition. Monopolies for the complete and utter lose. :)

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