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Tiling Engine

'Sandbox Tiler' - Fill with Voxels

***Please support this idea on Trello***

I have had this idea of a system whereby we can create easily Tiling textures using Voxels ever since Andrew started working on the Alpha for V3. The easiest things to compare it to are Zbrush's Tiling Canvas or Corel's Painter Pattern making function where you paint and your brush will go off the edge of the canvas and wrap around to the opposite side. Therefore creating easily tiling textures without worry. The difference here being that you are using actual voxel geometry in 3DC instead of on just a 2D canvas.

I mocked up 3 images using Silo & photoshop to help demonstrate what I mean by this. It should work in theory very much like the Tiling Grid from the start up screen if you've ever used it.

sandbox_tiler_01.jpg sandbox_tiler_02_ortho.jpg sandbox_tiler_03_baking.jpg

Advantages for using Geometry instead of painting bump (the two can be used in conjunction - paint high detail bump at the end of the process)

-You can get a much nicer normal map that works better with game lighting engines.

-You can extract an exact tiling 32Bit Displacement map for high resolution rendering.

-Visualising the placement of objects in 3d space (e.g. overlapping bricks, grout, moss in cracks on different layers etc.)

-works with Merge Tool

-works with all Tools & Brushes

-exactly replicates states of point cloud & surface that wrap around at the extents of the sandbox.

Let me know what you think as I can imagine this would be of a lot of use to artists creating Tiling textures for games/film.

p.s. Just realised how 'Tomorrow's World' this request is. Maybe by 3DC V4 or V5 :)

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Nice proposal, ghib...this would be a fantastic asset/ability to work with in 3DC.

I've also wondered if this could be possible with a bit of work on our side currently...using

the 2D-grid and the Carve tool (with ctrl and the square pen via 'E' panel) on a fixed camera

view.....but we'd have quite a bit of dancing around with mirroring/cloning etc.

Love to see Andrew implement this at some point! ;)

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Thanks for feedback guys.

wailingmonkey, I've tried many times to work out a system for creating tiling textures using geometry in Zbrush & Mudbox. The closest I can get to it without sending the mesh to a 3d app like XSI,Maya, Max etc and doing the bake there (similar to the way Kevin Johnstone creates his modular pieces), is by dropping tools to the canvas in Zbrush and grabbing the doc. The problem with this is that once dropped to the canvas you're no longer able to use any of the sculpting tools on the result so you'd better be sure you're happy with the look of your tool before you do.

If there were some method for implementing my crude Sandbox example in 3DC it would be a far more fluid and accurate way for achieving tiling textures using hires sculpts than hacking together various normal maps in Photoshop.

I want to express here that the fidelity of the edges in the Sandbox is ultimately important to this tool. In Zbrush even though you have created a perfectly tiling texture in it's native canvas.. you still must do some editing in Photoshop to fix errors that exist in it's MRGZB or Grab Doc tools.

The success of this tool relies on being able to extract an accurate tiling bake without having to do any further editing. If such a thing is possible. Fingers crossed.

p.s. As an addendum it would be useful to be able to set different dimensions for the Sandbox. ie 1024x1024 or 1024x512 etc.

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I love this idea too. Some day I will implement it.

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*Does a little dance*

So glad you like.

I have a bunch more ideas for it but will keep a personal note until the time comes.

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I made this tutorial a while ago and it may be relative.

The idea is that you have a proxy textured object that conforms to your original model then you 'transfer' the texture from your proxy model to your final textured model. Having something like proxy texturing could implement a repeat tiling option on the proxy model. That way you could 'sandbox' texture your model in a more controlled way.

I do like the idea of sandbox tiling but there may be issues because you have to turn you model around afterwards then you have to see the result of your brush stroke. You may not be happy with how the stroke end up and would have to blindly redo the stroke.

One option would be a combination of your idea and mine where you can create a curve or a proxy plane where you can tile a texture, manipulate the mesh to fit around your object then press enter to transfer the texture (or parts of it) to your model. It's sandbox but more manual, less freeform.

Paul

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I've recently been creating tiling textures (ground/dirt/bark etc) for use in a render that I'm working on and have been looking at various techniques for creating tiling geometry in Mudbox & Zbrush.

see here

Most of the techniques involve a lot of workaround and guesswork and none of which seem to me to be particularly artist friendly.

Now that 3DC is a slightly more mature app and the brush engine has been worked on I'd just like to bring this idea to Andrew's attention again in the hope that it will one day see it in.

Creating tiling 32bit displacement maps are still a major pain.

Thanks

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Following up on this (dream) with some ideas if ever it will see the light of day :)

  • Baked sandbox can be sent straight through to the Paint room and applied to a grid (both tiling & non-tiling). Normal maps applied at top, Paint layers created with masks attached. see below
  • Alpha Masks are also created and transferred over and applied to relevant Paint layers as masks.
  • Intelligent repeat tool which can calculate the perfect spacing required in horizontal or vertical regardless of where object is within the sandbox. Based on Voxel information in a single layer. Useful for making intricate filigree patterns, cornicing and other common Architectural detailing.
  • Depending on how the 'wrap-around area' is displayed. If it is with repeated voxels and speed is an issue the proxy (wrap-around) density can be set lower by the user.
  • Ability to set user grid - Think Modo's Work grid but able to rotate also. This would make it easier to create off kilter tiling textures.

Hope to see this one day. It would be unbelievably useful.

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This has to implemented because of its beautiful illustrations already...

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Thanks for the support chaps.

I'd hate to see this idea sent to the warehouse as I know I'd use it every single day. The thought of opening up Zbrush for this sort of work fills me with dread; I just find working with the zb manipulator so cumbersome and dropping tools to the canvas (fixed in place) is just a horrible way of working. It's so unforgiving.

If any of you have any further ideas or suggestions for this tool then feel free to brainstorm. It's got loads of potential. I've just had another idea...

... A simple scatter on surface tool would be great for filling with rubble, twigs etc.

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A simple scatter on surface tool would be great for filling with rubble, twigs etc.

Yeah that would be really cool, this was actually discussed recently -

http://www.3d-coat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=7322

Something like object spray would be better as a new tool though i think, this tool would be very useful for loads of things.

Also if you have a seamless tile this is great for terrains so other things that go great with that would be surface noise and weather/decay effects -

http://www.3d-coat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=7356

http://www.3d-coat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=4306&st=0&p=33438entry33438

In the second thread the main request would also be great which is particles with natural/slope build up which would also work well as a mode for object scatter. Merge tool is great but new tools like these would take things to the next level of greatness. :D

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Now that farsthary is part of the 3DC the team i think the main focus will be the unlimited clay style stuff but hopefully terrain/voxel noise will also be developed.

There was a blender project for planet textures -

http://farsthary.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/new-planet-procedural-texture

Right now alphas can be used but these types of seamless noises to distort/sculpt a surface with randomness would be great. :D

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This would be an amazing tool! I don't currently own 3dcoat as I've got other software to do most things, so I can't justify the cost (although I do follow development, and I like what I see), but this tool would be very useful indeed. As mentioned, Zbrush might at first seem like a great tool for this sort of thing, but it's severely lacking in this department.

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This is a great idea! it would be really good for creating large environments and probably other things I can't think of now.

Looking forward to seeing this in a future version of the program!

-G

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Oh yeah, farsthary seems like the perfect choice for expanding the Pilgway team with a good balance of energy, creativity & efficient coding. Exciting stuff.

I can see the tools all complimenting each other, feeding into and out of the sandbox tiler from the main voxel room. So utilising everything that already exists in the Voxel toolset.

Anyway fingers crossed.

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+1

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Are you planting asparagus?

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Best time of year for it :)

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