WIP - English Town Hall / Square

2

Comments

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    Tim_A said:
    Didn't get much time for Carrara today - had to work late, owing to being a bit lacking in the morning department ;-)

    So, played around building some simple props - a little 3-legged stool, and a wooden slop bucket. Ok, I didn't get the bucket finished - it still needs a handle and the, er, slops ...

    BTW, is there an alignment function whereby I can select a bunch of vertices and snap them all to the same grid line? (i.e. give them all the same x, y or z value) - I quite often find this is something I need to do - flattening an arch, or in this case, making the top of the legs flush with the stool. Setting each vertex z value individually is a real PITA, and something that ought to be automated somehow.

    Great bucket!

    Dart, do you know of a snap-to command? I'm not proficient with some of the less obvious tools.Yes. Guess I must have missed that in the original post.
    Send to Drawing Plane
    But I cannot recall how to send the drawing plane where you need it. It's mentioned, though, recently - somewhere around here

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited December 1969

    Well, I'm no texture artist by any stretch, but I've got to say I'm quite pleased with how this is looking... :-)

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    Looking good! Can't wait to see more.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    Tim_A said:
    Well, I'm no texture artist by any stretch ~snip~

    ...You are now! ;)
  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited December 1969

    It gave me a case of "Mouse Button Finger", I know that! ;-)

    Still, onwards and upwards (literally - ceiling & upstairs floor next)

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,311
    edited December 1969

    HI Tim :)

    It's coming along nicely .. but I'm going to suggest, at this point,. you should take some time to explore what can be done with procedural shaders,. especially when used with texture maps,...
    Carrara has a range of shading tools which can be used to create different looks or add dirt / noise effects when used with your texture maps,.

    you can also create Mixers which mix several texture maps together using a blend, which could be a procedural shader or a texture map, or another mixer....

    :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    True. I often enhance my texture mapped images with some sort of function. Applying a nice Fractal Noise globally or locally, depending upon whether the object need to move or not, is a popular method of taking away the showroom floor look.
    It also becomes incredibly fun - learning to add and tweak such things :)

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited March 2014

    Yes I'm aware that everything looks far too pristine, but I wanted to get the whole model to the same base state before I spent too much time messing around (it's far too easy for me to get caught up in playing with stuff that the project doesn't actually get finished!) There's a reason you never see the top of the building!

    The concern I have with procedural shaders is how well they transfer if I export the model to DS & Poser, and what the licensing issues are - I don't really plan for it to stay forever hidden on my Mac, and the shaders must be Carrara's IP... My basic rule there has to be, if I can't ship it, I can't use it. (it may turn out to be fine, but I haven't looked into the issue as yet.) On the other hand, if I grunge it down in Photoshop, at least I know where I am.

    Post edited by TangoAlpha on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    No... truly... I understand immensely!
    That's a good way to begin - getting the textures down. Tweaks and such are for a later time, after we know what we have to work with.

    But I must point out that, in order to get from Carrara to other apps, we need to export to obj format, bring that into the other app, and make it compatible from there.

    Well during the export to obj process, we can convert all procedural shaders into texture maps! Yaaaay!

    Then you just bring the item into DS and/or Poser, and set up the materials using the newly created texture maps as you would otherwise! Sweet, eh?

    Also, just so you know, to export the obj to Poser scale, first save your Carrara scene as is... then uniformly scale the model to 1.042 in the motion tab before you export, and then use the Poser preset during obj export, and set it to convert shaders to texture maps, if you use some functions to enhance the appearance of the maps you have in there.

    Then when bringing the obj into DS, just use the Poser prest for importing obj, and you'll have the proper scale.

    This allows us to work in real measurement units while modeling in Carrara, and still getting the scale right in Poser and DS. Sweet? Yeah... I know! ;)

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited December 1969

    That's interesting to know the export can convert to textures. :-)

    This was the result of an early attempt to import into Poser! Actually I made that deliberately humorous, but the point is that Poser has no proper concept of units other than a very vague "size of a figure." And that's a problem, because my model needs to be split across a whole bunch of objs - I want things like the interiors to be optional, the walls can be hidden, doors and windows open etc, and as I understand it, these items need to be separate objects so they get listed in Poser's object hierarchy. Without a common point of reference, I haven't been able to import them into Poser and have them scale correctly against each other.

    DS, on the other hand, had no such problem (2nd pic - multiple objs, perfectly scaled and aligned). So I'm wondering whether the route to Poser is not in fact, through DS? (i.e. import to DS and then have it create the requisite CR2 files, which I think it can?

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    Maybe I'm wrong about this, but in Poser and Studio style buildings, to have move-able walls and such, isn't that rigging? I also thought that you could also use a single vertex object with which contained separate polymeshes?

    Regarding the IP for the procedural shaders, the only issue would be if you tried to redistribute Carrara's included shader samples. If you use procedural functions to create a texture in Carrara, it should be no different than using Photoshop tools and filters to create an image map. You own what you produce. You license the tool that produces it.

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited December 1969

    I don't know, I haven't looked at rigging. The way it was explained to me is that to hide a wall, you make it a separate object, then you can select the wall and show/hide it from the control panel. The walls are not movable in the sense that you can't put them somewhere else. Doors and windows, it's a matter of setting limits on the rotate or translate dials and then renaming the dial to "open" (and hiding the dials you don't need)

    I'm sure there are other ways, but that's how the tutorials that I've seen did it.

    Thanks for the info re shaders - basically don't use the built-in shaders, but anything I create is fine :)

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    Tim_A said:
    I don't know, I haven't looked at rigging. The way it was explained to me is that to hide a wall, you make it a separate object, then you can select the wall and show/hide it from the control panel. The walls are not movable in the sense that you can't put them somewhere else. Doors and windows, it's a matter of setting limits on the rotate or translate dials and then renaming the dial to "open" (and hiding the dials you don't need)

    I'm sure there are other ways, but that's how the tutorials that I've seen did it.

    Thanks for the info re shaders - basically don't use the built-in shaders, but anything I create is fine :)

    Hmmmm.... I have a couple Poser style buildings and the walls slide out of the way to help with camera angles. The Vanguard space ship sold at DAZ works the same way, as parts of the hull can be moved. The hierarchy of the buildings and the spaceship looks like rigging to me also, if you open the models up in the VM, it's all one model. I had just assumed it was rigging, and it very well may be, but that doesn't mean it is the only way to do it.

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    I haven't used Poser in a long time. But I believe ep is correct. Many products advertise that they are set up with bones so that portions can be hid, etc., which I believe is what you do when you "Make Figure". You bring it in, and edit > make figure, or something like that, where you assign body parts. At least that's the older way. It was simple to do. Then you can assign how they can move, etc,

    The user manual that came with Poser 5 had decent instructions on the matter, if I recall. I'd imagine that newer version have decent docs?
    SM just sent me an offer for 60% off Poser Pro 2014. $199 is still more than I can cough up right now for something I rarely use.

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited March 2014

    I think they move because they are separate figures (i.e. imported as distinct obj files). This is the product description from Jack Tomalin's Rural Chateau http://www.daz3d.com/march-madness/rural-chateau:

    Rural Chateau Figures: (.DUF, .DAZ, .CR2 and .OBJ)
    RCH Bk Curtain
    RCH Bk Sh Curtain
    RCH Bk Wall
    RCH Ceiling
    RCH Floor
    RCH Fplace
    RCH Sd Curtain
    RCH Sd Doors
    RCH Sd L Wall
    RCH Sd R Wall
    RCH Sd Shutter
    RCH Sh Radiator
    RCH Tl Radiator

    Preload Sets: (.DUF, .DAZ, .CR2)
    Preload All
    Preload Room

    The issue still remains how to import all those different sized objs into Poser so they scale and align correctly.

    Post edited by TangoAlpha on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    Right. But that's because Jack makes his into all separate pieces that can load separately. But you don't have to do it that way. Many scene pieces load in as a single "Figure", with control dials and such.

    Either way is excellent, so you have your options to consider.

    I've never tried doing such a thing, so I'm not positive, but I think you can even group multiple objects in Carrara and export as a single OBJ, which can then be turned into a Figure. And, yes... DS can (or at least it could before) export CR2 figures.

    Another cool thing, I'm not sure if you can in DS, but I could in Poser, is that you can load in a 'main' prop (non figure object) and then parent the rest of the 'props' in the set to it, and save them to the Poser Prop library, which will bring up a dialod asking if you'd like to save it to the library as a 'parented' prop, so that when you select the main prop and load one of the others, they automatically snap to where you originally parented them to the original main prop, even if the position has been changed. So you can load in the main, then move it somewhere and rotate it, and with it selected, load in whatever parented props and they snap to their proper place.

    This is a great strategy for something like a town set like this. You could make the terrain piece the main prop, and parent all of your buildings to it. If you don't want them to snap onto where they are supposed to go, in Carrara at least, just drag them into the scene from the library, instead of dragging them onto the main figure, and they'll load at point zero, like normal models do.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    I've also seen products like Laurie S's Witch House, where Lisa Buckalew made plant life to go around the property of the default scene, and she made it as a conforming figure. So that you can have the Witch house set anywhere in the scene, not just the default location, and then load in her addons with a single click. If the Witch House set wasn't selected when you add in Lisa's addon, the user can select the botanical addition and use Fit-To to snap it where it fits in the Witch House scene. Another great way of doing things.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    3DC, at Renderosity, made a bunch of SciFi interior products to appear as if they are interiors of a Battlestar Galactica stage. Some where Props, as mentioned above, while others are advertised as being Figures, for the ability to dial open doors and select item visibilities with the turn of a dial.

    It might pay off, if you're looking to sell your set, to look into some of the many ways of doing these things. There are a lot of tutorials around the web, I think...

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    Tim_A said:
    I think they move because they are separate figures (i.e. imported as distinct obj files). This is the product description from Jack Tomalin's Rural Chateau http://www.daz3d.com/march-madness/rural-chateau:

    Rural Chateau Figures: (.DUF, .DAZ, .CR2 and .OBJ)
    RCH Bk Curtain
    RCH Bk Sh Curtain
    RCH Bk Wall
    RCH Ceiling
    RCH Floor
    RCH Fplace
    RCH Sd Curtain
    RCH Sd Doors
    RCH Sd L Wall
    RCH Sd R Wall
    RCH Sd Shutter
    RCH Sh Radiator
    RCH Tl Radiator

    Preload Sets: (.DUF, .DAZ, .CR2)
    Preload All
    Preload Room

    The issue still remains how to import all those different sized objs into Poser so they scale and align correctly.

    As I said, there's no wrong way as long as it works. As I mentioned, the style of Poser building I'm familiar with is rigged. The example I posted is clearly rigged as it is only one polymesh.

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited December 1969

    Got to the top! Everything is now mapped and has at least a "base" texture or shader, which I can expand upon. :-) Yay!

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  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited December 1969

    I know I said I was laying off the modelling a bit to concentrate on other things. But "just 5 minutes before breakfast" turned into 6 hours....

    This building is probably the most modern in the square, dated 1912. Right up until the 1960s it was a garage (complete with hand cranked petrol pump), but now it's a newsagent with a completely different frontage. I've modelled the original frontage (sans petrol pump!) & will probably texture it as a general store.

    An alley runs down the side, which will be the edge of the scenery. Still some little details to add, like cables, more signs, security camera & light etc.

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    Tim_A said:
    I know I said I was laying off the modelling a bit to concentrate on other things. But "just 5 minutes before breakfast" turned into 6 hours....
    Funny how that happens....
    Nice building, man!
  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited December 1969

    That's what I love about scenes like this - no two buildings are remotely alike! :-)

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,311
    edited December 1969

    HI Tim A :)

    Looking good.

    Q: are your edges creased at the windows / door ?

    it looks like there's some smooth edges there, but it could just be the light / image angle.

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited April 2014

    Well spotted! Thanks :)

    That was of course, just a test to see if you were paying attention... ;-)

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    Post edited by TangoAlpha on
  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,311
    edited April 2014

    Oh yeah ..sometimes I pay attention :)

    I think there's still some grey areas, ...best to crease the whole wall and windows,. then you casn selectively smooth any edges you feel shouldn't be creased,. but for most buildings, creased is good.
    It's not a big deal in Carrara, as it'll handles most things that some other programs have issues with, such as smoothing and surface normals direction.

    :)

    edited to add pic

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  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited December 1969

    I think maybe it's the lighting now - cos all the lines are definitely coming up yellow.

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited April 2014

    Very little time for modelling this week, but I have added another little prop to my collection. This is a security camera, to be used as street furniture near back doors, alleyways etc. The camera will pan/tilt on the mounting bracket. The armoured cable doesn't bend with the movement, but I guess if I rig it with bones, it could do that. The cable was made by polyline & sweep.

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    Post edited by TangoAlpha on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,991
    edited December 1969

    Very nice, Tim. Just going at it, eh! Sweet!
    Doing a great job, man.

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,578
    edited December 1969

    One small issue I've got with the camera model (it shows up better in this picture) is with the weather shield. It's basically a section from a cylinder, with thickness added. The edges have a small fillet added to knock off the sharpness, and the whole thing is smoothed. Problem is in the corners, where it gets a weird lip, which wasn't what I wanted at all.

    Any idea what went wrong?

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