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Surface Replicator and NLA Clips Question
Posted: 31 January 2014 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]
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View the animation on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.

This is my first experiment with Carrara 8.5 Pro’s surface replicator.  The surface replicator uses 2 genesis figures with a walking nonlinear animation clip attached to a terrain object.  Then I applied a Distance fog atmosphere.

Is there a way to get the figures to follow the contour of the terrain using the Carrara 8.5 Pro’s surface replicator?

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Posted: 01 February 2014 03:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Where is the hotpoint? Does that stay in the same relative place in relation to the figure throughout the animation?

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Posted: 01 February 2014 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I thought about it a bit more, and my experiences with creating walk cycles. If you have your figure selected you will see the bounding box. If the box stretches as the figure walks forward that me be the cause of the figure not following the terrain.

A possible solution is to keyframe the hot point’s position through the cycle so that it remains with the figure’s feet. The potential problem is that the hot point is the reference point that the surface replicator uses to place the object on the terrain, so you may end up with a figure walking in place.

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Posted: 01 February 2014 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks Evil,
The hotpoint is at the default position at the feet of the genesis figure.

I thought that it wasn’t possible, as it makes sense that the surface replicator only sets the start point.  Also if it was possible there would be a bunch of samples out on the internet.  It does work very well on flat surfaces, so I will just keep experimenting with the surface replicator within it’s limitations.

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Posted: 01 February 2014 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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If you would like to have the drama of people on different elevations, you could set up two flat areas. One at a lower elevation and one at a slightly higher elevation, then use two replicators with their own distribution maps. One for each flat area.

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Posted: 01 February 2014 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks Evil,
That is probably the best way to go.  A lot can be done with a little creativity within the limitations.  Have you ever tried using a shader for placement?  Where objects will be placed on white and nor object will appear on black?

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Posted: 01 February 2014 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yep! All the time. You can paint it in a 2D graphics app, or if you have Carrara Pro, you could paint it using 3D Paint. The nice thing about surface replicators is that you can apply as many to the surface you want. I have a terrain in a scene that I’m working on that has no less than six replicators, each with their own distribution map. My plan is to add a seventh.

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Posted: 02 February 2014 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It can be done, but it requires some manual labor. You have to create real instances and adjust the hight from each character. This can be done, because the upper parent is not included in the NLA clip.

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Posted: 02 February 2014 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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As I understand what you are looking for (lots of replicated objects moving about on or over a contoured terrain)...

I am currently developing a plug-in attachment (PySwarm) that will be able do just that in the next few months.

You can read a general description of the terrain following feature (under upcoming features):
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/517951/

A more detailed description of how the tool will handle terrain following is described here:
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/518748/

Of course I am still several months away (realistically) of getting this feature added. No idea your timeframe for what you want….

If you find a working solution, please post what you find! smile

FD

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The most complex object in mathematics, the Mandelbrot Set ... is so complex as to be uncontrollable by mankind and describable as ‘chaos’. — Benoit Mandelbrot

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Posted: 02 February 2014 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks for the feedback and information,
View the animation on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.

This is my second experiment with Carrara 8.5 Pro’s surface replicator.  The surface replicator uses 4 genesis figures with a walking nonlinear animation clip attached to a plane.  Then I applied Stonemason’s Urban Sprawl in the background. The figure are distributed with variable starting rotations.  There are lots of problems with this method, but it does produce some interesting results very quickly.

evilproducer’s comments and your stuff on ShareCG have been very helpful with all my annoying questions about Carrara.

I like Pjotter’s suggestion to create real instances and adjust the height from each character.

PySwarm looks like it can been very powerful and you have been doing fantastic work on it. All the PySwarm examples started me thinking about this subject.  I downloaded the plug-in but I haven’t had much luck with it yet (more experiments are needed).  But it led me to thinking about the surface replicator and NLA clips. I am not on any time frame, as theses are quick daily experiments to understand Carrara better. I think next weeks daily experiments are going to be with PySwarm. =)

Thanks for looking.

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Posted: 04 February 2014 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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View the crowd experiment on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.

This is another quick experiment with Carrara 8.5 Pro’s surface replicator.  The surface replicator uses 4 genesis figures with 4 different cheering nonlinear animation clips attached to a multilevel object.  The figures are distributed with variable sizes and starting rotations.

There are still lots of problems.  Mainly I think I need to make the NLA’s loop correctly.

View the second crowd experiment on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.

Another day, another quick experiment with Carrara 8.5 Pro’s surface replicator.  The surface replicator uses 4 genesis figures with 4 different cheering nonlinear animation clips attached to a multilevel object.  The figures are distributed with variable sizes and starting rotations. This time I created better looping clips.  Still lots of problems, I think there needs to be more base figures and different movements so that they don’t stand out as distractions. 

I thought I would post these experiments because people might want to see my mistakes so they don’t have to recreate them.  As always feedback is greatly appreciated.

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Posted: 04 February 2014 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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FractalDimensia - 02 February 2014 01:21 PM

As I understand what you are looking for (lots of replicated objects moving about on or over a contoured terrain)...

I am currently developing a plug-in attachment (PySwarm) that will be able do just that in the next few months.

You can read a general description of the terrain following feature (under upcoming features):
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/517951/

A more detailed description of how the tool will handle terrain following is described here:
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/518748/

Of course I am still several months away (realistically) of getting this feature added. No idea your timeframe for what you want….

If you find a working solution, please post what you find! smile

FD

This is certainly the way that I intend to do this stuff. Otherwise, when it comes to replicating animated people, yes… you need to make sure that you either use a quite a few of them to make for less repetition, or actually replicate much less of them and then add other people doing other things. I cannot wait for PySwarm to get its walk cycler. That will change the whole world as we know it! smile

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Posted: 04 February 2014 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thanks for the feedback,
PySwarm looks like it will revolutionize the way people use Carrara.  Using python in Carrara is a dream come true.

I have been viewing too much information about Massive’s crowd simulations and 3dsMax 2014’s crowd simulations and dreaming of the day Carrara has such features.  But Carrara has built in features that are could be very powerful in this area with a little ingenuity without the high price of both those programs. =)


Has anyone tried NLA clips on particle emitters?

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Posted: 04 February 2014 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I don’t have an answer to the emitters/NLA question, but… as for Massive… wow!
But you’re right. That’s the sort of reasoning that draws me towards PySwarm as well. Massive… did you even look into the price tag on that? There’s the initial cost and then there’s the maintenance. I guess it was made for those who can afford (or will afford) that sort of thing in the first place. After all… it really does some great things and took a lot of hard time to develop.

Looking at everything that FD is doing for his PySwarm for free… I hope that there will someday be a way that we can pay him as well for his efforts.

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Posted: 04 February 2014 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The price tag on massive is daunting.  That is what makes what FD is doing with PySwarm that much more amazing.  He definitely needs some compensation for this great work.

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Posted: 05 February 2014 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Hi joeping.

  Unfortunately the surface replicator won’t animate copies to follow a terrain, but the copies will move in place with a terrain or objects that are deformed or morphed.

For instance. You can create two similar size vertex grid objects. Deform one of them to make a simple terrain using the assemble room magnet deformer(Animation->Create Deformer->Magnet). Use the second grid object as a surface replicator source object.

Once you replicate the copies needed on the second grid object, attach it to the magnet of the other(Animation->Attach Deformer). Make the second grid object invisible and then animate through the magnets Zone.

If both grids are setup on the same axis planes it should appear that the replicated copies of the second grid object are moving along the other objects deformation. Like following a terrain. The surface replicator copies will not be deformed by the magnets. Multiple magnets can be used to deform objects, and most other objects can be attached to those magnets.

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