PySwarm for PyCarrara (V0.6) Released 01/25/2013

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Comments

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    And try to keep EP in line! ;)

    That's pretty much a full-time job! :cheese:

    Welcome to LightWave though! I'm sure you will pick up on it quickly. I can point you toward some tutorials, both free or for purchase if you are curious (I am a tutorial junkie).

    Given your work with PySwarm, I'm guessing that you will want to look into LScript for LightWave. I believe LW even supports Python. As a novice coder, I've wanted to explore LScript myself but have yet to find some good resources on it.

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Once it's ported over, can you then animated within without breaking conformed items, etc., use the morphs and such? That's a big part of my animation. Yes... I really have been on the fence. LightWave looks amazing, and beyond that, they seem (from the outside looking in) like a pretty cool company. Lot's of spirit and drive to push ever onwards.

    I am 95% sure everything ports from Poser. I've tested basic DAZ products in Poser format, and creating a simple animated walk cycle in Poser and importing that into LW. No problems encountered. LW rendered the Poser animation just fine. After watching a vid of how to port Genesis into Poser with access to all morphs, I verifying that worked fine with Gen and G2 as well. I've also brought V4, Gen and G2 into LW from Poser. What I haven't done yet is test whether animated morphs created in Poser work in LW, but since walking and other animations worked, am confident about this as well. Will know later this week. I suspect that since LW works on a different shading system, some texturing will need to be edited, but then again I'm not starting from scratch.

    I had been following the Octane thread because I loved the idea of having an interactive visual display of the scene as you work. LW comes with that (called VPR), so no need to pay extra. And while I can't speak yet on whether the renderer is equal to Octane's quality, it is super fast (about 50x faster than C8), and renders some nice images as they've made some recent improvements.

    To give Carrara some credit, there are a few areas where C8 has a slight upper hand (if you don't consider extending the basic LW):
    1. Terrains as an object type. You can build terrains in LW, but it is not as easy as in C8.
    2. Pre-defined terrain shaders to go with #1. IMHO, LW's surface node editor is superior to C8's, but it doesn't come with any starter sets here.
    3. Plant object type. There are plug-ins available for LW to handle this, but Carrara's native modeler is nice to have.
    4. Native Volumetric clouds. Again, plug-ins are available (e-on's Ozone e.g., which is nice).

    However, NewTek's business philosophy is different from DAZ. NewTek continually evaluates plug-ins, and then integrates the best directly into the system. So I expect LW to advance rapidly in any weak areas. Many modeling tools and lightings started as plug-ins. In essence, the community helps guide the tool's direction. And since LW is marketed for and used in movies and TV shows, they are driven to satisfy their customer base. (E.g., Several new plug-ins were developed to support the movie "Iron Sky" and then made available for free.)

    LW already has built-in many of things I have been seeking such as: "swarming" technology, audio-driven animation features, a Python shell that makes everything available as an SDK, and high-end image outputs (including HDR) for easy compositing. I'm not looking to totally replace C8 with LW; I don't see this as an either-or scenario. A carpenter's workmanship depends on having the right tools for the job. And LW fills a lot of holes for me. :)

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    And try to keep EP in line! ;)

    That's pretty much a full-time job! :cheese:

    Welcome to LightWave though! I'm sure you will pick up on it quickly. I can point you toward some tutorials, both free or for purchase if you are curious (I am a tutorial junkie).

    Given your work with PySwarm, I'm guessing that you will want to look into LScript for LightWave. I believe LW even supports Python. As a novice coder, I've wanted to explore LScript myself but have yet to find some good resources on it.

    Thanks, Garstor. :) You can shoot me any tutorials you find interesting (via email if you want). A tutorial junky as well, I've probably watched 100 LW vids so far.

    NewTek realized LScript was nice, but people weren't using it because it wasn't a general scripting language. So they built a complete Python shell (an SDK) around LW. No more need to learn LScript. If you can program in Python, you're golden.

    This is what I always wanted with Carrara. If PyCarrara provides just a few simple connections into C8, Just imagine what you could do with Carrara with EVERYTHING accessible via Python scripting! I've already done some basic Python testing of LW, and the results are encouraging. (Part of my intent to continue with PySwarm here is that I am thinking of porting it to LW. I haven't done much testing of LW's "flocking" technology, but IMHO, PySwarm has a few things it doesn't have. :)

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    I am 95% sure everything ports from Poser. I've tested basic DAZ products in Poser format, and creating a simple animated walk cycle in Poser and importing that into LW. No problems encountered. LW rendered the Poser animation just fine. After watching a vid of how to port Genesis into Poser with access to all morphs, I verifying that worked fine with Gen and G2 as well. I've also brought V4, Gen and G2 into LW from Poser. What I haven't done yet is test whether animated morphs created in Poser work in LW, but since walking and other animations worked, am confident about this as well. Will know later this week. I suspect that since LW works on a different shading system, some texturing will need to be edited, but then again I'm not starting from scratch.

    Very interesting! You have me even more curious now. I don't do animations yet -- not enough skill or patience. But the version 4 models and props with their morphs would be essential.

    I had been following the Octane thread because I loved the idea of having an interactive visual display of the scene as you work. LW comes with that (called VPR), so no need to pay extra. And while I can't speak yet on whether the renderer is equal to Octane's quality, it is super fast (about 50x faster than C8), and renders some nice images as they've made some recent improvements.

    VPR is very nice and a huge improvement. The latest versions even let you preview motion blur and depth of field. Near as I can tell, Octane blows that out of the water. I am very seriously considering getting Octane for LightWave (and maybe even boosting up my video card to a fire-breathing dragon).

    To give Carrara some credit, there are a few areas where C8 has a slight upper hand (if you don't consider extending the basic LW):
    1. Terrains as an object type. You can build terrains in LW, but it is not as easy as in C8.
    2. Pre-defined terrain shaders to go with #1. IMHO, LW's surface node editor is superior to C8's, but it doesn't come with any starter sets here.
    3. Plant object type. There are plug-ins available for LW to handle this, but Carrara's native modeler is nice to have.
    4. Native Volumetric clouds. Again, plug-ins are available (e-on's Ozone e.g., which is nice).

    I totally agree with you on all four points. Terrains keep me in Carrara.

    LW already has built-in many of things I have been seeking such as: "swarming" technology, audio-driven animation features, a Python shell that makes everything available as an SDK, and high-end image outputs (including HDR) for easy compositing. I'm not looking to totally replace C8 with LW; I don't see this as an either-or scenario. A carpenter's workmanship depends on having the right tools for the job. And LW fills a lot of holes for me. :)

    I just keep on agreeing with you - no fun in that! ;-)

    Despite what I think about DAZ as a company, I'm sure I'll still have Carrara around even if I take this Poser Pro route and manage to get my content library working in LightWave.

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    Actually, I sat on the fence for a month until I discovered my Poser Pro came with a LW plug-in called "Fusion" that allows me to directly import Poser scenes into LW. So nearly all my DAZ stuff ports over :cheese:

    If you've ever been tempted, now is a good time. LW is 33% off retail price through March!

    Just saying. :coolsmirk:

    Wait a second...if I buy Poser Pro...I can move all my DAZ assets over to LightWave? For serious?!?!

    Does it preserve the bones and morphs in Victoria and Michael? I'm not keen on having to learn a new 3D product (I'm still think about ZBrush or 3D-Coat too); but given how disenfranchised I've become with DAZ as a company...

    I won't commit to anything that might later prove to be false, but so far what I can't bring in through Poser can be imported as OBJ files REASONABLY well. You could always download and evaluate LW before purchasing. Or if you want to get in before losing the $500 savings, check with NewTek to see what their return policy is.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    NewTek realized LScript was nice, but people weren't using it because it wasn't a general scripting language. So they built a complete Python shell (an SDK) around LW. No more need to learn LScript. If you can program in Python, you're golden.

    My coding skills are atrophying badly these days. I'm a database guy by day and a wanna-be 3D artist by night. Python is all over the place now though...I probably should learn a bit of it.

    I haven't done much testing of LW's "flocking" technology, but IMHO, PySwarm has a few things it doesn't have. :)

    I haven't done anything with flocking since I am not into animation yet. But it sure looks amazing.

    I'll PM you some of the resources that I've used.

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    Very interesting! You have me even more curious now. I don't do animations yet -- not enough skill or patience. But the version 4 models and props with their morphs would be essential.

    LW's cloth dynamics, fur/hair effects, and clothes modeling are superior IMHO if that matters.

    I just keep on agreeing with you - no fun in that! ;-)

    Despite what I think about DAZ as a company, I'm sure I'll still have Carrara around even if I take this Poser Pro route and manage to get my content library working in LightWave.

    Yep! We're on the same page! ... Dang! ;)

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    My coding skills are atrophying badly these days. I'm a database guy by day and a wanna-be 3D artist by night. Python is all over the place now though...I probably should learn a bit of it.

    I was as rusty in programming as they come when I started writing PySwarm. (I'm reminded of when Dorothy meets the TinMan in WoO...) But it's like riding a bike.

    I'll PM you some of the resources that I've used.

    Thanks, Garstor! :cheese:

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    I won't commit to anything that might later prove to be false, but so far what I can't bring in through Poser can be imported as OBJ files REASONABLY well. You could always download and evaluate LW before purchasing. Or if you want to get in before losing the $500 savings, check with NewTek to see what their return policy is.

    I have owned LightWave since v11. I have yet to put the newest point-release (11.6.1) on though.

    I'm still at Carrara 8.1. Vacillating over with 8.5 is worth it to me.

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    I have owned LightWave since v11. I have yet to put the newest point-release (11.6.1) on though.

    I'm still at Carrara 8.1. Vacillating over with 8.5 is worth it to me.

    AHHH! I missed that.

    Well, 11.6.2 is out and it is free for LW11 users. :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,603
    edited December 1969

    I sure wish I has an extra $grand laying around. I'd certainly give it an even closer look.

    I'm really lucky in that Carrara has offered what I need versions ago. The latest upgrades have just been icing on the cake. From a production house standpoint, where all assets are made in house, I love all of the great features in LW. But for a fellow doing everything on his own, taking advantage of the extremely low cost of assets sold here, I still hold to the idea that Carrara is King.

    The thing is that I can easily be proven wrong in that department. All it takes is for anyone to say that they enjoy using something else - use what makes you happy, and what helps you get your stuff done.

    I certainly don't want to turn this into a Carrara vs LW session anyways. This is Fractal Dimensia's PySwarm thread! And I owe FD a lot for coding this... very generous. Sure, I haven't even used it yet. But I will... eventually. And it's cool that so much time and effort has been going into this killer plugin. I hope that you do come up with a way to incorporate a walk cycler in this. That would be hands-down the coolest! But even if you don't, you've put a lot of animation power into everybody's hands with this, most flexible tool. Thank you for that!

    DAZ 3D does (as you all already know) truly have my confidence. I know that they pay attention to what's going on in the industry, and have some way of figuring out what their users want and need. It might seem logical to do this first, and that next. But when it comes down to it, Carrara just keeps getting better. Perhaps one day Carrara and LW will gain the benefit of talking to each other. Who knows?

    I really hope that they "wow" us with Carrara 9 though.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    I still hold to the idea that Carrara is King.

    See kids? This is what drinking gallons of the DAZ Kool-Aid does to you! :-P

    I really hope that they "wow" us with Carrara 9 though.

    WARNING: Excessive consumption may induce delusions.

    Seriously...back on track here. ;-)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,603
    edited December 1969

    Excessive consumption of Carrara Pro time makes me delirious with glee! :ahhh:

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,963
    edited December 1969

    Excessive consumption of Carrara Pro time makes me delirious with glee! :ahhh:

    Pass me some of that cool-aid Dart.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,603
    edited December 1969

    Excessive consumption of Carrara Pro time makes me delirious with glee! :ahhh:

    Pass me some of that cool-aid Dart.Sorry, it doesn't work on MacOS driven ancient computers. :ahhh:

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,963
    edited December 1969

    Excessive consumption of Carrara Pro time makes me delirious with glee! :ahhh:

    Pass me some of that cool-aid Dart.

    Sorry, it doesn't work on MacOS driven ancient computers. :ahhh:

    No worries Dart. I can understand your opinion. You just don't see that many PCs that can still function 10 or 11 years on. ;-P Maybe this will put it into perspective for you: 64 bit in 2003. Up to 8GB RAM in '03.

    Hmmm... Maybe if I compared it to something a PC user back then may have appreciated: large address aware without the need for a script?

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    No worries Dart. I can understand your opinion. You just don't see that many PCs that can still function 10 or 11 years on. ;-P Maybe this will put it into perspective for you: 64 bit in 2003. Up to 8GB RAM in '03.

    Hmmm... Maybe if I compared it to something a PC user back then may have appreciated: large address aware without the need for a script?

    I can't deny, that was an excellent retort.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,963
    edited March 2014

    Garstor said:
    No worries Dart. I can understand your opinion. You just don't see that many PCs that can still function 10 or 11 years on. ;-P Maybe this will put it into perspective for you: 64 bit in 2003. Up to 8GB RAM in '03.

    Hmmm... Maybe if I compared it to something a PC user back then may have appreciated: large address aware without the need for a script?

    I can't deny, that was an excellent retort.

    Awww shucks, Pa'. I didn't start it, it was Dart. He's always gettin' me inta' trouble!

    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,603
    edited December 1969

    I know, right?
    Thing is, I have this old vintage radio from the 50's that picks up more frequencies than anything on the market today, as far as home listening radios are concerned, but that never stopped me from moving on and buying something new.

    Okay, that was bad. truth is, I love your old Mac - especially the beautiful renders that come out of it. ;)

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Okay, that was bad. truth is, I love your old Mac - especially the beautiful renders that come out of it. ;)

    EP; that odd sensation you are feeling on your buttocks is probably Dart's lips.

    FD: to avoid derailing this thread too much...can you recommend any Python training material? For an extreme idiot...I always assume I'm an extreme idiot at first... But I'd be curious about using Python with LightWave.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,963
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    Okay, that was bad. truth is, I love your old Mac - especially the beautiful renders that come out of it. ;)

    EP; that odd sensation you are feeling on your buttocks is probably Dart's lips.

    FD: to avoid derailing this thread too much...can you recommend any Python training material? For an extreme idiot...I always assume I'm an extreme idiot at first... But I'd be curious about using Python with LightWave.

    Well, you do use LW on a Carrara forum. ;-P

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,963
    edited December 1969

    I know, right?
    Thing is, I have this old vintage radio from the 50's that picks up more frequencies than anything on the market today, as far as home listening radios are concerned, but that never stopped me from moving on and buying something new.

    Okay, that was bad. truth is, I love your old Mac - especially the beautiful renders that come out of it. ;)

    I love shiny new toys to, but sometimes the necessities have to come before toys.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,603
    edited December 1969

    I love shiny new toys to, but sometimes the necessities have to come before toys.

    Your words speak true, Sir.
  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    I love shiny new toys to, but sometimes the necessities have to come before toys.

    You know, like ... food ... shelter ... ;-)

    One day, EP will get a new Mac and then the meteorologists will have to report on this unseasonably warm weather front over central Wisconsin. It will affect the entire continent. No one will know what is causing it. Except for Dart...he'll know...EP is basking in the glow of uncontrollable bliss.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,963
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    I love shiny new toys to, but sometimes the necessities have to come before toys.

    You know, like ... food ... shelter ... ;-)

    One day, EP will get a new Mac and then the meteorologists will have to report on this unseasonably warm weather front over central Wisconsin. It will affect the entire continent. No one will know what is causing it. Except for Dart...he'll know...EP is basking in the glow of uncontrollable bliss.

    Since I've been of the @#X$#!!! satellite and their freakin' bandwidth restrictions, I've been busy catching up on videos that people have posted here an elsewhere.

  • JoepingletonJoepingleton Posts: 720
    edited March 2014

    Thanks FractalDimensia for the great work on this awesome Plug in.
    It's a shame more people don't use it, it is very powerful and quick. Your expertise will be missed by this Carrara noob. =)

    This is another quick experiment with the PySwarm plug in for Carrara 8.5 Pro and NLA Clips.

    I created a "Boid" group that was a figure with a looping wing flap cycle NLA clip with a duration of 30 seconds. Then I replicated that "Boid" 21 times and numbered the "Boid" groups. Then I used PySwarm to generate a movement script with 21 boids and 1 attractor object. Then I just imported the PySwarm script into Carrara. One wing flap NLA clip and the Pyswarm script control all movement, no key frame editing other than the 9 frame wing flap cycle NLA clip.

    What do you think?

    View the animation on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.
    View the Stereoscopic 3D animation on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.
    Click here to see the 3D animation on 3DVisionLive.

    bird01.jpg
    633 x 570 - 334K
    Post edited by Joepingleton on
  • JoepingletonJoepingleton Posts: 720
    edited March 2014

    Is there a way to have all the boids flock to an object and stick to it?

    Post edited by Joepingleton on
  • 0oseven0oseven Posts: 597
    edited December 1969

    The "landing" feature may help you with this but not sure
    cheers

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