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About Spinland

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    Upstate NY, USA
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    Golf, acoustic guitar, craft beer, 3D animation
  1. Spinland

    Normal map in Lightwave showing ugly UV seams

    Thank you, guys! As ever, you're extremely helpful. I found my particular problem this morning, and it was a bone-headed move on my part. I've only recently started to add normal maps to my workflow thanks to 3D Coat; my typical approach is to use alphas in LW's node editor and build my own shaders but I've been wanting to leverage how 3D Coat assets are created natively. In this case the problem is the normal map's color space isn't set to linear when 3D Coat saves it. Lightwave needs that. I just change the color space for each nmap in the image editor that's part of LW's nodal interface and bazinga: seams gone. Thanks again!
  2. Not sure what's going wrong here, googling seems to indicate the orientation of the UV map islands could be a problem but I haven't found a real solution yet. Here's my model in the UV room: And this is how it looks in the paint room right before I export to Lightwave: Now, in Lightwave Layout, the seams of the UV islands are showing in a most ugly fashion: If I disable the Node Editor, where the normal map is applied: the seams go away (but so does the normals displacement): If I apply the normal map from 3DC as a bump map instead of using the normals node it works, but I have to kick the bump map displacement strength up to over 900% to get the desired depth: Can anyone point me in the right direction to get the normals map seams smoothed out? Many thanks in advance!
  3. Spinland

    3DC 4.5: painting through a photo mask?

    Okay. I puzzled it out, sorry to bug you here. It seems the smart materials stuff is now how to do the through-image painting, you just have to figure out various settings and create a custom material to recreate the old functionality. I get this app is a moving target and evolving too rapidly for the video educational materials I've purchased to keep up. It's worth the effort to puzzle out the changes.
  4. Spinland

    3DC 4.5: painting through a photo mask?

    Okay, so it looks like stencils are close, but they don't honor the tiling button and I can't seem to get colors to transfer from the stencil to the surface.
  5. Watching the Liberty 3D video tutorial series on painting through a photo mask to apply the image to a model's surface. Problem is, I cannot find the mask or materials menus that he is using. Here's a screenshot of his interface: Is this feature no longer supported? Did the names change or this functionality get moved somewhere else since 4.0 when these videos were made? I looked through the documentation and the YouTube channel, and searched, and cannot find any mention. Thanks in advance!
  6. That's exactly what I was looking for, thanks! I do try to RTFM but sometimes I'm not sure what terms I need to look for so get lost. :-)
  7. Just made a smart texture for a project, and it looks really good apart from one thing I haven't figured out yet: how to control the size of the tile as it's placed in fill mode over an entire layer. I tried altering the radius of the brush tool first but that didn't change anything when the fill tool was re-applied to the layer. Must I always brush on textures if I want to control the size of the irregularities in the smart texture? Reading the documentation hasn't helped me figure this out. Thanks in advance!
  8. Ah, okay. Thanks! I tried searching on topics like "freeze" but I just wasn't getting the picture. I can be dense sometimes.
  9. Okay, maybe it was just a glitch in 3DC. I just closed and re-opened the app, re-loaded the model, and then started AUTOPO again on it. At the density mask stage instead of adding masks I bulk erased the existing one and re-saved and now it's gone.
  10. I was experimenting with AUTOPO on a model, and now I want to start manual retopo. Problem is, even after I deleted the old mesh layer, I can't get rid of the higher density areas I painted during the experiments and 3DC won't seem to let me draw stroke meshes in those masked areas. Do I need to go back and search for a version of the model from before the AUTOPO tests or is there a way to regain the original, unmasked model? Here is an example of what I see when I load the model and delete the retopo mesh layer. I can't seem to be able to get rid of these painted areas. I tried going into the paint room and painting with the erase tool, no effect. Thanks in advance!
  11. Spinland

    Things to watch for when making AUTOTOPO curves?

    Yeah, I think I'm starting to get a feel for how 3D Coat does stuff. Besides the dragon sculpt I'm also working on a gargoyle character. I built this guy in Lightwave as well and am adding him to my list of projects for doing sculpt work on. Like the dragon, the wings are already built but the structures are straightforward and there was no reason to do any sculpting on them. I'll just stitch them onto the retopo meshes before I UV map the models and start painting the diffuse and normal maps. Here's my start on doing the manual retopo of the face. A few false starts here and there as I get used to the workflow but I'm starting to get into a groove. Both of these characters are going to be featured in some animated shorts so I need to make sure they're ready to rig and that they deform well. This is a quick test run of part of the short the gargoyle will be in, using a low-res proxy model for now. https://youtu.be/jX9ttOCKTnI
  12. Spinland

    Things to watch for when making AUTOTOPO curves?

    Cool stuff! I went back to my original Lightwave model and made a fresh start importing into 3DC, sculpting and then trying AUTOPO. In the course of my experiments I found numerous places where the original model could be better, and I made some bad decisions in the original export that also came out during sculpting. With lessons learned this one came in much cleaner. Here are some screenshots. Sculpted model: My AUTOPO settings: The focus shading I used: The first AUTOPO run, no guide splines: I decided it could be a lot better so I added some guide splines: And this was the result with guides: Still needs a ton of cleanup but with the guides the flow around the head and limb joints started out much better which will make blending in the manual retopo stuff easier once I've ripped out the problem areas.
  13. Spinland

    Things to watch for when making AUTOTOPO curves?

    Most excellent advice, and long is good when information is involved! Heading out to the gym but when I get back later this morning I shall follow your workflow and see what I can come up with. I understand and agree that manual retopo is always going to yield more animation-friendly results, my main agenda here is to see how close I can get with auto first and then delete the high detail areas and do them manually. Just want to leverage the auto to speed up the low-deformation portions of the new mesh. I like working out new techniques, it's part of what makes this job fun!
  14. So, when the dialog box for AUTOTOPO pops up it admonishes one to avoid things like crossing curves and having curves too close together. Yet, when I watched the related video featuring the rat character the author (after showing various methods that don't work) shows using many, many splines that cross each other in multiple places, and they are numerous and placed close together. Which approach is preferred? I tried an auto test on this dragon model I imported from Lightwave and got some ugly topology. Then I tried defining more numerous and precise splines, including many that crossed as the rat video said I should, and after nearly five hours of calculating (I started it and left to do stuff elsewhere) I came home to find it still unresponsive and had to force quit the app. Some insights, please? Many thanks in advance!
  15. Yeah, so simply dragging a circle around the eye socket on that model wasn't getting me anywhere. I could turn the point density slider way up, like 250% plus, and get a better inner circle but the auto radial segment still acted wonky. I took your suggestion and control-clicked the points for the inner circle explicitly instead of just dragging the path and it came out much better. I'm rolling now! Many thanks again for the insights.