Working Box and Display help inquiry

timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

Hi, fellow Carrarans,

a short note beforehand: I am not a native English writer, so please forgive me if comments I push out may sound strange to those who are. If I should seem offending likelyness is that I am just dumb, not mean. Well, in fact I am mean - but in a different way than it might seem.

After some years I have come back to try Carrara (8.5 at the moment) and see if I could get it to work for me :-)

In general I was able to find my way through functions and workflows quite quickly. I like the (neat, tidy) interface, I like the render quality I get with only a few mouseclicks. I like the speed of the program, as long as one does not use too many polygons or tries to handle too many objects at a time.

My request for help now consists of two parts:

1) I love working with "working boxes" (as the term in Carrara seems to be), yet the working box in Carrara 8.1 and 8.5 seems to be completely broken. Usually a working box, as I know it, can be adjusted to a specific size, fixed in place and get reference photos attached, to allow the working slave (me) to manually trace conturs or adjust existing models, creating morphs etc. This does not work at all in Carrara 8+.
What I tried was this:
- load a figure
- go to vertex modeler room
- load a working box backdrop via the "global" function, enable it
- try to adjust the grid size to the needed size
- result: model jumps way off the working box
- tried to re-fit the working box by "send working box to"
- result: Carrara "crashes" (error message)
- redid everything from scratch, this time trying to adjust the working box to a polygon plance on the model
- result: model itself is rotated at a weird angle, working box remains the same

Inquiry 1: Could anyone here please help me understanding how the working box is supposed to work? What I try to do is load a reference photo of an animal (a dog) to be able to adjust a loaded dog figure in the vertex modeler to match the dog's photo (later I'd like to do the texturing, but this seems rather simple using the UV mapping features, although there seem to be serious glitches in the UV editor).

2) Since I did not get the working box to do anything I expected from it at all I tried the "standard way" used in most 3d modeling programs: Create a photo box (like an open room with photo textures at the walls), adjust the size, intersect the photobox with the model that is to be adjusted. Works fine, looks nice - BUT:

Inquiry 2: How do I tell Carrara to have the ACTIVE model being displayed in wire frame with hidden lines (back area lines not being drawn) whilst displaying a different model at full textured mode? To me this seems like a standard feature that even open source programs offer in versions below 0.1, but I totally fail to get it set up in Carrara. The interactive render settings (which, seemingly, also apply to the modeling room display settings, although that's not quite "rendering") SEEM to allow just that: Have the active "plance" being displayed in wireframe, but all inactive (visible) ones with "no degration". Yet, this does not do what I thought it would.
So, how can I specify which way an individual model in a scene is displayed in the modeler?

Thank you all so much for any help given!

Gust

Comments

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,963
    edited December 1969

    I'm in the middle of a long animation render, as always... so I can't actually go in as I type :(
    But here goes:
    In Carrara, I believe, you don't actually adjust the images within. You use the various Top/Bottom, Left/Right, Front/Back backdrops within the vertex modeling room and they stay put - I believe. I've never tried doing anything else.
    Now you can double-click your model or Edit > Select All, and attempt to move it into a good working position.

    Being mostly a content user, I'm very new to this - but I hope that helps anyways.
    Let me know if this doesn't help and I can look deeper into it.
    Someone else here also does a lot of modeling in Carrara, who can also help - I hope.
    There should be a viewing control selection popup that you can activate near the upper right corner of the window. Not sure if it has the option you want, as I normally model using the vertex room's default look. I like that.

  • timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hi,

    thanks a lot for the rapid response!

    Attaching images to the backdrops works fine, that first step is not a problem.
    The problem is that there does not seem to be a way to adjust their size. Usually the working box in a visualization software can be tuned to conform to global or local paramaters (sizes, ratios etc), in my understand this is the key function of a "working box" (otherwise it would be a "global box".

    Simple example: Load an image to front or side backdrop, enable it. The image MAY be far too big for the screen. Now you're lost, there's no way of adjusting the size of the image OR the working box (at least none that is reliably working without Carrara "somewhat crashing").
    Example 2: Create the image in a resolution/size that SEEMS to fit to the working box (actually making the working box a "fixed global box"). Now there's no way of adjusting the MODEL's size in the VIEW to match the working box, other than roughly zooming in and out, which clearly does not allow one to fine-tune the model to the image on the working box backdrop. Lost again.

    So my question is: Does Carrara HAVE a function to use a FIXED backdrop that can be ADJUSTED to the size needed? Or is the backdrop function only useful for creating NEW models (which works like a charme, absolutely no critics there!).

    The "photo box" solution used in other programs would work fine, if I would be able to have the model I am working on being displayed in wire-frame with hidden lines and a specific other model/figure in the scene (a non-active: The photobox) being displayed with texture enabled. I cannot find this setting, so this is the second question ....


    Gust

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Sorry can't help with the working box part of your question - sending the working box to a mesh has me totally befuddled as well.

    Regarding using a background image - no, Carrara does not have a function for adjusting the size of the reference picture - the best you can do is move the mesh into place and adjust its size to match your picture.

    i understand your frustration - unlike Anim8or, for instance, Carrara and Hexagon project the picture onto the grid - Anim8or makes a physical plane, which you can move and adjust.

    Of course, you could make a plane - or box - in Carrara and map your picture/s onto that. Two problems arise - firstly, unlike Hexagon, Carrara sees all meshes in the VM as a single vertex object. It is possible through some copying and pasting to get your picture box and your model into the VM together, but you can't lock the picture box from being selected when you manipulate the mesh on your model. Secondly, the wireframe view is global and can't be applied on a per mesh basis, so when you apply this, your picture box will also go to wireframe and your picture disappears.

    Hexagon has the same problem, but you can get around all this by assigning a temporary transparent material to the model and locking the picture box from selection.

    You can get around the first part of the problem by modeling in the assembly room - that way you can have your picture box and model together, scale the box to match the model and move it into position, but you won't be able to see through your model to the background picture, because of the global wireframe problem.

    Solution - get Hexagon - I believe it is only $19.99 or something like that at the moment:)

  • timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
    edited March 2013

    Hi,

    thanks - it seems you are 100% confirming what puzzles me. Maybe Carrara just cannot do that. I wonder.

    If anyone else might try to help, please see my attachment. Simple question: How do I move the backdrop image to that it matches the model in the front EXACTLY enough to allow me to adjust the model?
    (Moving the model may help at the beginning, but won't be a solution as soon as I start fine tuning head, tail etc, since I would then work with hidden domains, so I CANNOT move the visible part of the model without breaking the figure)

    Of course the photo box approach would immediately solve the problem, but the model would need to be wire-framed, while the photo box remained textured. It seems Carrara cannot do that either.
    I browsed through the bugcenter. Obviously I am not the first to encounter these problems, there are issues raised in the bugcenter that are years old and haven't been answered by the developers, so I guess I cannot use Carrara for this job at all. Quite a pitty!


    (EDIT: I do have Hexagon, but stopped using it several years ago because it constantly crashed - I need tools that get me the job done and Hexagon was so incredibly instable that I really should try it out again).

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,963
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:

    i understand your frustration - unlike Anim8or, for instance, Carrara and Hexagon project the picture onto the grid - Anim8or makes a physical plane, which you can move and adjust.

    Solution - get Hexagon - I believe it is only $19.99 or something like that at the moment:)

    Why not Anim8or? It's free!
  • timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Yes, using different programs surely is a solution - I own zBrush, Modo etc.
    The issue is: In order to get a job done in time it would have helped to start with a readily rigged figure that is close enough to what I need. I have spend many hundred dollar on DAZ content (not because of the quality, but because of the sheer amount of stuff that can get me started) and the dogs are a good starting point for the project we're at.

    I am no friend of re-inventing wheels (or dogs) if someone else has done a good enough job at it already :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,963
    edited December 1969

    timlemi said:

    I browsed through the bugcenter. Obviously I am not the first to encounter these problems, there are issues raised in the bugcenter that are years old and haven't been answered by the developers, so I guess I cannot use Carrara for this job at all. Quite a pitty!
    Please add some fresh notes to those reports, to show that you need that fixed too. The more posts they get the more urgent the fix becomes. Also, upload the image that you posted above to give them a working example of what you mean.
    If none of the reports fit your situation, put in a new one. This needs to be fixed.

    In the Advanced Techniques videos, PhilW uses the backdrops to great effect to make an airplane model from scratch. So I know that they work great when you start from scratch. But, like you say - the way it is now, you might need to use different maps to load in for detail work.
    Phil edits the images in Photoshop to match his needs - but I don't want to say too much and give away his lessons. But his airplane turned out beautifully!

  • timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Yes, like I said above: Working with the backdrops to create new figures is a breeze, no problems. Of course I do own PhilW's tutorials :-)

    As for the bugcenter: Well, since most of the issues there are many years old and seemingly are not being handled I naturally can put my plea on it, but I'd say is is not actually used by the devs. That's why I posted here, not there, because I thought this is where DAZ is handling customer inquiries :-)
    (Being a software developer I know the way it works: Putting up a bugcenter shifts stress from first level support - that's all a BC is about)

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    That is strange - when i load a background pic it is always centered on the grid - wonder why your's isn't?

    Worthwhile dusting off Hexagon - some users say that 2.1 was the most stable - I use 2.5 and have no stability problems with it.

    Anim8or, while being pretty amazing and having some advanced features that Daz could learn from, is rather limited in the modeling department compared to Hexagon, which is why I switched about three years ago.

    Worthwhile taking a look at, though, depending on how advanced a modeler the OP is:)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,963
    edited December 1969

    timlemi said:
    Yes, like I said above: Working with the backdrops to create new figures is a breeze, no problems. Of course I do own PhilW's tutorials :-)

    As for the bugcenter: Well, since most of the issues there are many years old and seemingly are not being handled I naturally can put my plea on it, but I'd say is is not actually used by the devs. That's why I posted here, not there, because I thought this is where DAZ is handling customer inquiries :-)
    (Being a software developer I know the way it works: Putting up a bugcenter shifts stress from first level support - that's all a BC is about)

    I've just recently been contacted by the head developer regarding some of mine.
    I's make a new one in there. Put the urgency rating truthfully as you see it as a Carrara user.
    Also, I love your article in "Make a Living" thread. Kick A.... oh... I can't say that?
    Um... Kick Ankle man! Kick Ankle!!! ;-)
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Just checked out Anim8or to refresh my memory. The background image can be scaled and moved - the normal way I used to work was to load a front view into the front view and a side view into the side view. As long as the images were the same dimensions, they intersect and align exactly, making it it easy to work in two views.

    Although the wireframe is global in that you can't select which mesh to make wireframe, the good news is that the background image does not go to wireframe, so you can see the image through the model, so this is ideal for what you are wanting to do.

    One caveat - like Carrara, Anim8or will only have one object in a modeling window, although you can have as many modeling windows as you want. If you import a multiple-mesh object into one window, it will weld them into a single object - it doesn't handle groups.

    It is easy enough to split out parts of a mesh into different modeling windows and export them as individual .obj's to be combined in Carrara, if that is what is needed.

    So if your dog is a single mesh, as it appears to be and all you want is to move verts around to make a new version or a morph target, Anim8or would be ideal for that:)

  • timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hi,

    I decided to do the job in modo, time to make use of 701's great speed advances :-)

    But in order to not let you down for the quick and friendly help you gave me (for me confirming that a tool is the wrong tool for something actually is better help than "you might fiddle the frickle by fracking the freak") I thought I did a quick overview over how a "photobox modeling" might work in Carrara.

    Please have a look at the screenshots. This is but a very rough walk through meant to show the basic idea.
    Why would one want to do it this way? Because using the photobox method you are working with the material you will be later UV-mapping to your model, so you have the same original pattern for modeling AND texturing, resulting in a smoother workflow, faster results and better overview (I am an old man, I need overview. I usually have to do four to five things at the same time, sometimes writing emails while chatting with a customer on the phone and maybe having an eye on a friend's baby, so anything that keeps me focussed at the task is of help).
    Unfortunately I do not understand how this forum software allows me to embed images in a thread, so for now I can only give an explanation and attach the images below.

    Image 1: Create a cube (one could start with a vertex one right away, since UV mapping will be used later on)
    Image 2: Attach the original texture (after which you want to model) to the cube (note: You could stitch together the front and the side view to the texture in order to do the UV mapping for front and side view, see below)
    Image 3: Go to vertex modeling, call UV mapping for the cube
    Image 4: Adjust the UV map by selecting the four EDGES, holding down shift to move them straight (note: If you're using front and side view at the same time, adjust two sides of the UV mapped cube right away)
    Image 5: Cube with uv mapped texturing
    Image 6: Adjust the cube to your model, the trick is to intersect the cube with the model, starting with the center of the model and working your way outwards, step-by-step moving the cube towards the camera and fine-tuning the model's parts that remain visible on top of the cube
    Image 7: Start modeling, I exagerated here to show what I am doing (using soft-selection). By moving the cube back and forth you can easily concentrate on "domains" or "z-axis layers" (in fact in Carrara it's x-axis, while usually it's the z-axis that points outwards from the screen).

    This method has several advantages: The cube can be moved to whereever you want to fine-tune the model. You can rotate the view any time to check the modeling progress. By using side- and front-textures, maybe even more, you "sculpt" your way through the model, having the cube "hiding" parts of the model out of the way where you're not working at the moment.

    Anyway, this may not be new to anyone, but then again, I did not find a tutorial how to do this in Carrara (maybe because it's too simple), so ...

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  • timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hmm ... here we continue ... this forum software could be greatly enhance methinks ...

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  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Well..i must admit I've never seen that method used.

    When I do use the picture box, ( but never in Carrara) it is to align up to 5 views of a blueprint to get proportions correct - then I model inside the box.

    Must try this out - it would be like building the model one layer at a time - sort of like a CAT scan taking pictures of thin slices of the brain?

  • timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    > building the model one layer at a time

    exactly, only that I would not go this way to build the model from ground up, I just offered this series of images as a "thank you" for the help I got here, as an idea about how to solve what I was hoping to be able to do in Carrara (and now do in modo).
    You got it right: It's "slicing" the model and working your way through it.

    One might put some spikes on the image cube that mark specific positions like muscle anchors etc., so that these spikes or needles run all through the model you are working on, giving you hints about where to move areas to.

    Gust

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,963
    edited December 1969

    So you are actually modeling in the Assembly Room, right?

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for explaining a method I've never considered:)
    Agree that it would be difficult to make a model from scratch, but handy when modifying. May be useful doing retopo - hiding backfaces in Blender so they don't get in the way can be a PITA, so hiding them in a cube could work.

  • timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
    edited April 2013

    Yes, I am "modeling" in the assembly room, since the vertex modeler room seems astonishingly incomplete to me. But that's propably just because the kind of work I am doing is oriented towards photo- and video-support, so I tend to work with references nearly exclusively.

    I am attaching a "sticks" screenshot to explain what I said in my previous remark: Simply ramming a few sticks through areas on the photobox (or, more precisely, on the photo :) ) that are "reference points" (like muscle definition areas) helps a lot in quickly "sculpting" your figure to the proportions you're looking for:

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  • ManStanManStan Posts: 0
    edited April 2013

    Roygee said:
    Well..i must admit I've never seen that method used.

    When I do use the picture box, ( but never in Carrara) it is to align up to 5 views of a blueprint to get proportions correct - then I model inside the box.

    Must try this out - it would be like building the model one layer at a time - sort of like a CAT scan taking pictures of thin slices of the brain?

    That is basically the same method I use to build WWI scout planes from scanned in model instructions lol

    Post edited by ManStan on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,963
    edited December 1969

    timlemi said:
    Yes, I am "modeling" in the assembly room, since the vertex modeler room seems astonishingly incomplete to me. But that's propably just because the kind of work I am doing is oriented towards photo- and video-support, so I tend to work with references nearly exclusively.

    I am attaching a "sticks" screenshot to explain what I said in my previous remark: Simply ramming a few sticks through areas on the photobox (or, more precisely, on the photo :) ) that are "reference points" (like muscle definition areas) helps a lot in quickly "sculpting" your figure to the proportions you're looking for:

    Yes.
    I picked up on that from your previous post. This is exactly what I've envisioned. I've only modeled in the assembly room once. It didn't work for what I wanted to do. This is cool, though. This inspires me to do a lot more modeling in the assembly room so that my other objects are there if I want them to be. Another huge overlooked feature on my part.
    Thanks for this.

    ManStan said:
    Well..i must admit I've never seen that method used. When I do use the picture box, ( but never in Carrara) it is to align up to 5 views of a blueprint to get proportions correct - then I model inside the box. Must try this out - it would be like building the model one layer at a time - sort of like a CAT scan taking pictures of thin slices of the brain?

    That is basically the same method I use to build WWI scout planes from scanned in model instructions lol
    I'd love to see some if you have any pics? I bet they're excellent.

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,086
    edited December 1969

    HI All :)

    The Vertex modeller is the place to load your images into the "Front" "Left" "Right" "Top" views to help you model.

    The images placed (and enabled) in those views ...Can ONLY be viewed when using the isometric views
    (FRONT, BACK, LEFT, RIGHT, TOP, BOTTOM)

    You cannot see any backing images if you use the default Camera,or any other 3D camera view.
    You wouldn't want to model in 2D, and move in 3D at the same time.

    There's no need to make a Box and then apply images to that to assist you in modelling.
    It can be done in the Vertex modeller,. ..it also helps if your images are Square, then they'll fit into the working Grid area.

    As for the comments about the Bug tracker,. old bugs for previous versions of Carrara, are left there for "reference" rather than (this is still broken and nobody can be bothered fixing it)
    Also,.
    The Bug Reporter area,. is the ONLY area where the developers will look for issues,. they don't spend their days reading through the user forums.

    The user forums should be your first port of call,. especially if you're new to using Carrara.
    if the experienced Carrara users here can't help you,. then they'll usually ask you to post a bug report,.. after confirming the issue is happening for other users.

    A couple of questions:

    What version of Carrara are you using,.
    What system,... Mac or PC. and what OS version ?

    You should be using Carrara 8.1.1.12

    Hope some of that helps :)

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  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,086
    edited December 1969

    One other thought.....

    It looks like you're using the Daz3D Dog,. or Pup,.. and trying to adjusting the body shape to make a wolf.

    The Dog, and Pup,.. should come with a bunch of "Breed" morphs, and texture maps,. so you may be doing something that's already been done for you. (see pic)

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  • timlemitimlemi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hi,

    like in the other thread: Thanks for your comments, but, please, consider reading what has been discussed in the thread :-)
    I used the dog shapes mainly for presentation purpose (although the job I was doing and have now finnished actually was about a dog, which required serious modification to the genereic DAZ shapes, so we ended up with doing it from scratch).
    As for the image placement: Your mentioned way is what I tried, it partially did not work quite as expected - and partially suffered from the problems described in this thread.

    Anyway, I have put Carrara aside for the moment, hoping for fixes to the many problems in a version to come. I wish I had time to just "play" with the application, since it is a nice little "all in one" starting platform, but I constantly run into limitations or error messages or broken workflows, so, in order to avoid frustration that would keep me from trying Carrara ever again, I will just pause at it and see what V9 or V10 will bring.
    I have had the frustration break with Hexagon :-)

    Gust

  • destrechtdestrecht Posts: 21
    edited December 1969

    After messing with this for a long time, I reaized that what I wanted to change was the grid. View>Grid>working box size.

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