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heyas, guys!

still watching hours of tutorials and demos (thanks!)... have some newbie questions that i hope haven't been asked 100 times before.

PS: i'm using 4beta14a1GL

1: Smooth Tool

how come sometimes this aggressively melts the model down to nothing, and sometimes it barely does ANYthing? i've tried different strengths, sizes... it just usually ends up doing the opposite of what i want? (ie: melting my mesh when i want a faint little adjustment, or barely doing anything noticeable when i want the mesh to melt.)

2: Pinch Tool & Creases

the pinch tool isn't behaving the way i expect. not sure if this would be a bug or feedback/complaint. it pulls the mesh together in the middle, but it also creates a dent around the stroke. i don't want the indentation.

i tried to make a crease by using the extrude tool (inverse mode, of course), with a sharp pointy brush tip. that created a decent little trench. but then i wanted the pinch tool to pinch the sides of the trench together to make a skinnier trench, it actually made a wider, yet shallower trench.

so what's a technique for creating creases?

3: Tools that Go into Voxel Mode

i threw some presets on the preset floater. the move tool, and the translate tool. sometimes when i switch to the translate tool, it pops up and says "This preset will switch your [sic] to voxel mode." sometimes it doesn't. sometimes the move tool makes this pop up.

the thing is, i thought i was IN voxel mode and never left it. i haven't switched anything to surface mode. that i know of? i'm not using the tools in the surface subsection. i never change room tabs. nothing ever pops up and tells me i'm leaving voxel mode, or entering surface mode.

4: Translating in Symmetry

how come this tool doesn't obey symmetry? like, say if i paint in a sphere for an eyeball, and i want to move the eyeballs closer to the centerline. i don't want to smush them or parts of them over with the move tool, i want to actually translate them side to side. but the translate tool appears in the middle of the two eyes. and even if i move it to one side of the centerline or the other, it just moves both sides in the same direction.

5: Mannikin Parts Symmetry on different Layers

i wanted to turn the humanoid mannikin into a digigrade mannikin. so i was monkeying around with the left lower leg. and the stuff i did there didn't translate to the right lower leg, because it was on a different layer. except the posing tool, which affected both parts.

can someone explain the different symmetries going on? and give me some pointers on how to edit the shin, then duplicate (clone?) it to make the shank, and then how to get the corresponding right side parts? i found the clone command, but there are different clones that weren't explained very well on the wiki, and i'm not sure which ones are linked clones and which are just independent copies?

thanks a bunch!

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Hey bloodsong, because it is still in beta phase you might find some bugs, but I've tried recreating your situation with the mannequin and here is what i found:

1. If I want to aggressively melt my mesh I switch from voxel mode to surface mode in the vox tree. Toggle the "V" to "S". Surface mode is much more responsive for me anyway. Now if you hover over a little icon that pops up in the name of your layer, it will have a arrow pointing down to a disk drive, this is essentially reducing the resolution of your object while maintaining the higher level details, much like in Zbrush except you do not have subdivision levels. How much you can downgrade your model will depend on your setting call proxy visualization in the Voxels menu. Set your proxy and click that little disk drive with the arrow in the layers and melt away.

If you are sculpting in voxels or in surface mode the more and more polys you have the harder and harder it will be to smooth or melt your mesh. But if you are in surface mode than there are a few more options for smoothing in the header of the app.

2. My pinch tool seems to work fine, and I don't think your issue is a bug. If your using the pinch tool in Voxel mode with small details such as a crease then you run the risk of the valley filling in or closing up because the voxels are merging and therefore filling your crease. This is the nature of voxels. Try using the pinch brush in surface mode for much more traditional digital sculpting results. I got the indents issue in voxel mode with my brush depth set to high. And if your pinch brush has the inverted option on then the pinch will push your crease apart. Check that. As for creating creases, in Voxel mode you can use the carve brush, and in surface mode I use a preset I created with the build up brush and the small pentip alpha.

3. If I created a preset in voxel mode, then switched to surface mode, and activated my new preset, I will get that warning because it was created while in voxel mode. The same applies to surface mode. There is a refresh issue there, though, after switching different modes activate a different brush then activate your preset again and you should see the warning appear everytime.

4. If I want to translate in symmetry, for example eyes, I use the pose tool. In the pose tool options you have choices of how you would like to select meshes or parts of a mesh. One of the choices is the select object mode. Make sure you have symmetry activated across which ever axis you need. Use the pose tool with "select Object" mode, click your left or right eyball(make sure they are both the same mesh, combined, in the same layer) and translate your object with mirror symmetry.

5. The mannequin model has some inherent issues. First some of the layers don't correspond to parts of the mesh. If I want to clone the shin bone I first delete one. Select the one you would like to duplicate across which ever axis. Make sure you have symmetry activated from the Main menu. Select your shin from the Vox tree menu and right click over it. Select "To Global Space". This will ensure the object duplicates across the origin of the scene. Next, find "Clone" and then "Clone with symmetry". This will mirror duplicate across your desired axis. If you clone with instance you will see "inst" in the new layer name 3d coat generates and if you clone with symmetry or just use clone you will see "copy" in the new name.

Hope some of this helps, the application requires some different thinking when trying to understand how it's working. But stick with it, I am finding it to be an awesome tool in my arsenal.

Edited by ebitz
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@ebitz: Your number 4 is a great idea! I hadn't thought of that. Thanks!

@Bloodsong: If you are in the Voxel Room, and in Voxel Mode, then you can go to the Voxels menu and turn on "Cuda smooth boost". It will give you super fast and powerful smoothing if you want it. (You need a CUDA-enabled video card to take advantage of this though).

Also, if you are in Surface Mode, turn on wireframe (the "w" key on your keyboard), and then select the LiveClay tool. You will see an option above the viewport called "SHIFT action". Choose "Decimate". When you hold down SHIFT and brush on your high poly mesh, you will see that the poly count is reduced only on the parts where you brush, but the general shape is preserved. Once you have reduced your poly count, you can then switch your "SHIFT action" to "Powerful smoothing" or one of the other options, and you will see that your smoothing will be fast on the areas which you just made low poly. In other words, decimate first, and smooth next. That is a cool "trick" on how to get fast smoothing in areas where you need it even if your mesh is high poly!

Edited by TimmyZDesign
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