Low Poly People. Full Tutorial in 4 parts.

edited February 2013 in Carrara Discussion

How to make low poly people.

(I'm editing this top post after each new tutorial is added)

Part 1 is a demo and the gist of what to do a taster...

http://youtu.be/cG55S3Lir4Q

[EDIT]

Part 2 explains why this method is used and we get started ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFa6mBjvERY

Part 3 - Skeletons, attaching them, Clothes, UV savings, and reducing the object file.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5T6LNjH2nk

Part 4 - Importing the reduced object, attaching a skeleon, shading domains and modelling tips (for successful attachment of your skeleton).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZmIOlhhwpQ

[/EDIT]

Post edited by Sci Fi Funk on Youtube on
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Comments

  • holly wetcircuitholly wetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Interesting... Can't wait for part 2

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Very cool. Incredible resource savings you're getting there!
    Hey again, Steve!

  • edited December 1969

    Hi Dartan!

    Well, I've now made 33 cyberpunks using this method, they all animate fine via BVH files (brought in via DAZ and aniblocks).

    This is a 3 part series, starting at part 2 and ending at part 4 (part 1 was a demo)

    I am releasing part 2 today, part 3 on monday, part 4 on tuesday. Then I'm doing a little scene with music, lights and everything to celebrate!

    Rather than explain the process here, I'll leave you to click on the link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFa6mBjvERY

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Hey Steve,
    I made a link for this article in the Carrara Info thread under Carrara and related 3d Art Tutorials. Hope you don't mind. I really like your tutorials and after a while, all threads seem to vanish into the deeper archives of the forum - so I like to immortalize some of the favorites.

  • edited December 1969

    Hey Steve,
    I made a link for this article in the Carrara Info thread under Carrara and related 3d Art Tutorials. Hope you don't mind. I really like your tutorials and after a while, all threads seem to vanish into the deeper archives of the forum - so I like to immortalize some of the favorites.

    Go ahead my friend. Thanks.

    Any additional exposure for my tutorials more than welcome!

  • edited December 1969

    Part 3.

    Here we get down to the nitty gritty of the solution, and I talk about Skeletons, attaching them, Clothes, UV savings, and reducing the object file.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5T6LNjH2nk


    Part 4 out tomorrow.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Steve,
    Thanks man!
    Hey, I found your three point light tutorial and added a link to that, too.
    Just wondering if you have any more that were in the old forum that you'd like me to find. These are just far too cool to see them lost in cyberspace! Wait. I just had an idea. I'll put you in the Carraraist Spotlight and drop a link in there to your whole YouTube channel - that will work better. As always, if you disapprove, just give me a nudge. I do realize that I get a bit excited... but... I guess that's just who I am :coolhmm:

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited February 2013

    My God, man! That is freaking A M A Z I N G ! ! ! Squared! No... to the umpteenth power!
    I am so glad that I haven't started shooting production frames yet (still setting up assets) because I am going to go through everything! Amazing! Thanks again Steve
    Sci Fi Funk - Carraraist in the Spotlight

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • edited December 1969

    Hi Dartan,

    As ever your enthusiasm is most welcome!

    Thanks again for the links. I can't seem to find my tutorial links on the old forum, but if you go here
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL511383E90B92CC0E&feature=view_all

    These are all my tutorials in one place on youtube.

    I do feel this particular series will help a lot of people make larger scale animations, and as ever it's only obvious AFTER someone shows you. I had no idea fenrics plug in was so useful, and it took a few sessions of trying everything and searching before I came across a superior decimator.

    I should say at this point that removing UV mapping seals you into far away shots (atm), but I'm working on a solution for closer shots. (Will be a new tutorial series).

    Thanks man, I say - "stay enthusiastic!" - It's what keeps us young.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    As for your video links, check my last post up. Click that link once. :coolhmm:

  • edited December 1969

    As for your video links, check my last post up. Click that link once. :coolhmm:

    You are a star. Thanks Dartan :-)

  • edited December 1969

    Part 4 (final part) now on youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZmIOlhhwpQ

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Quite impressive. I can imagine some people thinking that this is a lot of work to go through - and it is. It is always a challenge to find ways of bringing masses of animated people into a scene. It can be done by post, by rendering different passes with x# of people in this shot, then that. and layer them in. And so fourth... there are many ways to create illusions. But consider, for a moment, what you're left with after following this tutorial and tweaking your masses to your liking. A massive collection of 3d folks that fit your vision.
    You can save people to the browser all loaded up with their NLA clip walks or ambient motions - But with Carrara, it's better to start a "Clip Collection" specifically for these Low Res units, so that you can make anybody act how you like - and your saved people remain small in size. Next thing you know, you're no longer dealing with that issue where all of your "seconds" are the same people from one scene to the next. You'll be amazed at how quickly a collection of people will grow. If you end up with a few early versions that might not look as good as the new ones made as your skills advance, they are still invaluable for use in the midst of large crowds.
    Further, you can add a vertex object to your scene and create a single four point polygon. Size this to be a single lane of a sidewalk size and surface replicate 'walkers' on the polygon. Make a few of these using different people and then using the replicator (not surface replicator) you can duplicate these directly onto the sidewalks of your scene. I do this with cars, too. It just takes simple measurements to determine the cell size (for proper placement) of the replicator. For this I often let primitives measure for me. Plop in a plane and scale it by hand to the dimensions I want. The go to the Motions Tab and you can see the x and y sizes needed to be used in the cell size of the replicator.
    Then make a simple map of your scene. Where buildings and vehicle lanes are present, fill with black - leaving populated areas white (replication distribution is only read in Black (off) and White (on). Now, using another surface replicator with this map controlling distribution, plunk in crowds of ambient life people. If yo mix in some with walks, you'll even get the odd situation where someone goes walking where they shouldn't be - like in front of a grav bus!

    I have a god collection of low res people that I made up using the Predatron3d low res people - this technique can take you places my method cannot.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Using the techniques that these tutorials provide can be further assisted with a good collection of the Predatron3d Los Res people. You may find that a few simple, low poly parented props are easier in the end. So using the tools and procedures that Steve is using here, you can simplify the overall difficulty of the process by altering the textures of the low res people, Say, the Low Res14 MU Worker and then going through and removing unnecessary overhead - you may find that figure to be sufficient without further additions, since Predatron made them so versatile.

    Additionally, the Millennium People from Daz often have Lo Res counterparts - as I believe Steve has used the lo res M3 for his skeletal rig.

    Very nice set of tuorials, Steve at Sci Fi Funk!
    Thanks for all of this great insight!

  • edited December 1969

    Yes thanks Dartan for the additional info re: 4 point polygons.

    I guess as always the real question is finding the best compromise. When looking at background objects, i.e. far away objects, do they need to be 3d or will 2d (plane with texture map) suffice, etc etc.

    However, as I'm not much of a 2D artist I decided early on that I'd use my other skill (programming) to program my way out of trouble. This is why I'll keep contributing my ideas via mini-series on "low poly" or "fast rendering" etc.

    Next up is either shaders without textures or effective use of the carnegie mellon bvh library, which ever I get to complete first. I'll create a separate thread for these.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited February 2013

    Yes thanks Dartan for the additional info re: 4 point polygons.

    I guess as always the real question is finding the best compromise. When looking at background objects, i.e. far away objects, do they need to be 3d or will 2d (plane with texture map) suffice, etc etc.

    However, as I'm not much of a 2D artist I decided early on that I'd use my other skill (programming) to program my way out of trouble. This is why I'll keep contributing my ideas via mini-series on "low poly" or "fast rendering" etc.

    Ooops - More specific explanation:
    The four point poly is actually turned off for visibility. It is only used as a narrow path onto which I then use a Surface Replicator.

    So, I have a city scene, for example, that is 16 blocks by 16 blocks. Even easier than a vertex object is a plane, so:
    * Drop in a plane and re-size it to stretch all the way across one city block.

    * Re-size it again to be about half the width of a sidewalk. Now it is one city block lond and half a sidewalk wide.
    Even if your scene has no sidewalks, guesstimate the proper width.
    If you like, you could now add a concrete texture to this, but I usually set mine to simple "Shadow Catcher".

    * Add a few of walking people to the scene and align them with this plane you've just made.

    * Select each person in turn, and change the hotpoint location to be directly at the bottom of their feet. This must be done when the figure is selected, not the hip. An alternate method would be to put each person in their own group (only one person per group) and use the group hotpoint. Either way the hotpoint must be where the sole of the shoe is - so the replicator places it directly on the ground.
    ***To move the hotpoint, turn on Caps Lock

    * Add a Surface Replicator to the scene, and drag all of the walking people you've just added into it.

    * Double-click the replicator to enter it's parameter settings and select the plane as the surface.
    By dropping the people into it, they've already been selected for what is to be replicated.
    Do not use any random rotation but a slight random scale would add more variation. Remove the check box for "Align to Object"
    Play around with the minimum distance setting to determine how many of these people get replicated.

    With your new sidewalk full of people, you can generically use this one over and over, by either using a standard replicator and distance measurements, as I described earlier, or simply use Ctrl D to duplicate the whole works - that works well too.
    What I do at this point instead, is to create another one with entirely different people for more variety.

    Making a few animated sidewalks is easy, it doesn't require a lot of people either - just use enough sidewalk duplicates or replications to make up more people. The more individual people with individual animations, the more believable the effect.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969


    Next up is either shaders without textures or effective use of the carnegie mellon bvh library, which ever I get to complete first. I'll create a separate thread for these.
    Awesome! Can't Wait!

  • edited February 2013

    Nice!

    I was about to give up on surface replicator (again), in favour of nesting replicators (1 rep per replicator) for precise placement of objects.

    However your idea sounds great! It has given me another idea, changing the shape of the surface over time to control the distribution.

    Still working on this. Lots of possibilities!

    Many thanks :-)

    [EDIT]
    Well that was a duff idea. Changing the surface size over time of the surface rep re-sizes the people as well. (ahem).
    I'll try a more standard approach then. Perhaps with fenrics ERC plug in I can alter the surface over time, change the pattern (texture) and manipulate paths that way. Again probably an over complication, as most walk loops moving straight ahead are sufficient. I'm just thinking ahead to collisions (people dont all walk at the same pace), rather than using the collision detector, I could make things look more real by planning the path. I'll come back when I have something more concrete.
    [/EDIT]

    Post edited by Sci Fi Funk on Youtube on
  • ProPoseProPose Posts: 136
    edited February 2013

    Using the techniques that these tutorials provide can be further assisted with a good collection of the Predatron3d Los Res people. You may find that a few simple, low poly parented props are easier in the end. So using the tools and procedures that Steve is using here, you can simplify the overall difficulty of the process by altering the textures of the low res people, Say, the Low Res14 MU Worker and then going through and removing unnecessary overhead - you may find that figure to be sufficient without further additions, since Predatron made them so versatile.

    Additionally, the Millennium People from Daz often have Lo Res counterparts - as I believe Steve has used the lo res M3 for his skeletal rig.

    Very nice set of tuorials, Steve at Sci Fi Funk!
    Thanks for all of this great insight!

    I agree, a "nice set of tutorials, Steve at Sci Fi Funk!" I've been playing around with the V4M4 LOD's since most of the aniBlocks are made for these figures. Your workflow works quite well, thanks for sharing.

    Post edited by ProPose on
  • edited December 1969

    Pleased to contribute.

    Later today I'm releasing part 1 of a 2 part tutorial on how to use the Carnegie BVH files with DAZ/Carrara in conjunction with these low poly people (but works for all DAZ characters too).

    It's part of this workflow but I explain how to get the most out of your animation data (and how to have TONS of walk loops in a single scene).

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,658
    edited December 1969

    OMG SFF!!
    I am playing with populate in 3DS Max 2014 http://youtu.be/Rl-Crq7K--Eif only Carrara could do this!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited July 2013

    We actually had a guy in the community who was working on a plugin that did just that - with randomizing walk cycle generation and everything. Last I heard was that RL was getting thick and pulling him away. Haven't heard from him since. That was the old forum. Can't remember which forum... Carrara WIP? Hmmmm

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • edited December 1969

    OMG SFF!!
    I am playing with populate in 3DS Max 2014 http://youtu.be/Rl-Crq7K--Eif only Carrara could do this!

    That scene was in 3DS Max? Does the job well.

    I guess the system I've described is useful because you can draw on your existing poser compatible runtime, and therefore clothe them how you like. Most commercial people are modern day typical looking people.

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,658
    edited December 1969

    I am only playing with 30 day trial!!!
    I was wondering if it could be used though to guide walking low poly poser figures
    the FBX export only exports the transforms of solid mesh figures no motions but they do follow their paths
    I was just sharing because I thought it could be of interest.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    I haven't played with Max since version 5. But it seemed for years after that, that requests for plugins to assist with dolly support were not very well received - but that's only in the circles I was familiar with. joe claims that my comments in that regard are baseless - but I was there - I tried. I was willing to save for Max at one point in the game. It was during that seemingly never-ending, useless attempt that I've found Carrara - the answer to what I was looking for! Most of the magic that I was able to do in Max that I cannot currently do in Carrara was done with plugins. Carrara is a strong modeler, indeed.

  • edited December 1969

    Carrara is a strong modeler, indeed.

    Yes - I like it. I prefer it over hex (although hex a has a few functions carrara doesn't), and as you say missing bits can be compensated for via either plugins or the odd third party software.

    Install of C8 pro is waaaaay quicker and easier than max.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 1,721
    edited December 1969

    Interesting tutorials - thanks for sharing these. I have taken the approach in the past of using mapped Loretta Lorez as background figures, even applying morphs so some of them were more male shaped. Use of textures and maps can go a long way without changing the actual geometry in distant figures, but your alternative approach is good to know.

  • edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    Interesting tutorials - thanks for sharing these. I have taken the approach in the past of using mapped Loretta Lorez as background figures, even applying morphs so some of them were more male shaped. Use of textures and maps can go a long way without changing the actual geometry in distant figures, but your alternative approach is good to know.

    Agreed. If I didn't need so many figures in one scene I would have stuck with Lorenzo Lo Res. An excellent model.

  • zaintczaintc Posts: 266
    edited December 1969

    The problem with all this is that Daz and Iclone seem to be in some type of secret plan, check out Reallusion site, they seem to some how resolve this issue and seem to be the ones to not have any issue with import of Daz characters and daz fully supports them as well, why is that?
    http://www.reallusion.com/iclone/3dx/3dx_features_character.aspx

  • edited December 1969

    zaintc said:
    The problem with all this is that Daz and Iclone seem to be in some type of secret plan, check out Reallusion site, they seem to some how resolve this issue and seem to be the ones to not have any issue with import of Daz characters and daz fully supports them as well, why is that?
    http://www.reallusion.com/iclone/3dx/3dx_features_character.aspx

    I think you are talking apples and pears here. If you want to use iclone to make limited animations then that is great. If you want to use a full 3d package to make huge animations then carrara is good enough.

    Here is the proof.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI7EFSkju6o

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