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Old 07-03-2008, 12:17 PM   #1
stonemason
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Default Smoothing... help.

I realize manipulating a polygon at a lower resolution is easier and less complicated and also yields a lot less mouse clicking. But, as our creations move along is it okay to use the Smooth command to refine the image when we find it is no longer necessary to do anymore "polishing" on a particular polygonal object?

For example, I am constructing a head and while working in a lower resolution, I have been able to fashion the features until they look pretty decent using minimal adjustment. I then use the Smooth command to see how things look (a Preview of sorts) and when I am satisfied with the progress, I immediately use the Undo command to revert back to the low-rez version (just in case).

Which begs the question, if the Smooth version looks much more pleasing, what is the downside to leaving the object "smoothed", other than it would be a carpal-tunnel nightmare if one had to make further adjustments at some point in the future?

If this refined state is what we want ultimately, should I use the Smooth command, if I am satisfied I no longer have to make anymore adjustments? Is there a penalty for evoking this kind of refinement?

I ask because, when I use the Smooth command once, or even twice in a row, as the mesh becomes much more complicated, it also yields a much, much better object. Does this also have an exponential impact on the rendering process?

Also, does this yield better results, or make it any easier when working with projections in the UV Editor?

I think I know the answer to these questions, however it's a leap of faith I'm not quite prepared to make at this point. I put too much work into this current tutorial project to have to abandon it now because I became to over zealous with the Smooth command.

I have noticed that each time I use the Smooth command the mesh (patches) almost doubles in value and yet at some point I hit the threshold of diminishing returns and there is no real improvement to the object beyond the first couple of uses and all I have really accomplished is to saturate the mesh with thousands of extra patches.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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well in maya 2008 you dont need to use the smooth command to preview your mesh and keep having to undo it, just hit the 2 or 3 key, it wont change the way it renders, though you can tell a renderer like mental ray to smooth it b4 rendering, so you still have your lower res model, helping to save you from veiwport lag and tweaking nightmares. makes no sense having you or the machine deal w/ geometry thats not necessary.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:24 PM   #3
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So the lesson I should take away from your response is to upgrade to Maya 2008 so that I can just hit the 2 or 3 key instead of using the Smooth command?

I've seen that option used in the tutorial I am currently working with and I'll admit it is pretty nice. In fact, 2008's Smooth command seems to be better implemented but it isn't compelling enough for me to upgrade from 8.5.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:48 PM   #4
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I have 8.5 and not familiar with 2008 yet. But, it sounds like smoothing with 2 and 3 are a "Nice To Have" feature but not a "Need To Have" feature. So, I personally wouldn't upgrade for that reason alone.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:08 PM   #5
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lol, i assumed and that was my bad. of course hitting the 2 or 3 key isnt the the only improvement : P either way back to the matter at hand. needing more faces for smoother geometry is just a drawback of polygons, i suppose u can convert to another geometry type later. tuck a duplicate away if u feel your going to get all "over zealous" w/ the smooth or try the reduce command. as far as laying out uvs, its probably going to be tedious anyway but u can use lattices and theres the smudge tool and at the same time, sewing can become a pain so use the smooth command w/ care.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:40 PM   #6
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I'm sorry but the issue isn't about the merits of Maya 2008 or whether I should upgrade or not, just to achieve a quicker or a more precise preview!

I appreciate your quick response and I know I tend to provide too much information when I write and perhaps my questions get lost in the meaning but, I'm just trying to provide some context so you can appreciate the effort I'm making here.

If I'm not clear about my needs I apologize for that and will make more of an effort to be more concise.

My original question, and the point of this discussion, which was apparently lost among my words is:

As I create the pieces that make up my project, do I smooth them, SAVE the work and continue to work on other portions of the project and is there some reason not to do this? This is but one aspect of what isn't covered in the manual; and that is the working discipline one takes with each project.

The reason I ask is this; I don't want to use the Smooth command and save my work only to find out the work is irretrievably broken.

So as I sit here, all of the pieces that make up my project are pretty much in their most basic state; un-smooth. I was also wondering, does this un-smooth state also contribute to un-smooth projections in the UV Editor?

I'm not, at this point anyway, concerned about my computer's performance. It's wicked fast and Maya has a core2duo and 4GB of ram to work with... so it isn't a performance penalty that concerns me when working with something like that which is displayed in picture C. It's the thought of having to go in and do even more work with all that geometry!

My hand is being punished enough as it is just having to push and pull on points on the un-smooth stuff.

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Old 07-03-2008, 02:47 PM   #7
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Once your happy with your model smooth it for your final render, thats about it, keep it low till your happy with it then smooth.

If you were concerned with your PC performance (which your not) then you could smooth the normals, heck, if the smooth dosnet smooth as much as you want then try softening the normals.

As for when to smooth, it all really depends on if you need to smooth it for the final render.

Also it might be worth noting as long as you dont delete the history you can always undo the smooth.
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:56 PM   #8
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theres not much of a down size to smoothing (slower interface, more difficult to edit/model) but if you want to keep it low rez you can use pre and post render mel commands in the render globals

you will see them in the render globals

pre render mel is

setAttr poly1Smooth.dv 2

setAtr poly1Smooth.dv 0

im running fast here and have never done this, but i know the theory and am sort of guessing the script, ill test it when i get home later.., but it might work.

you model will go in faceted and come out smooth.

poly1.., 1 is the number/name of the poly.., the cube you started with for example will be called poly1.., unless you renamed it.., if there is more than one poly..?? ill check it out or someone here will

m
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:09 PM   #9
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Just use smooth proxy throw your lowpoly in a layer and your highpoly also make the highpoly_layer a reference and in the attr of the lowpoly uncheck renderable and any other render related stuff.
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:45 AM   #10
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i was really hoping someone'd post this solution for the problem as this topic has had so many replies :headbang: . if it's a polygon object, just apply mesh>smooth to it and save it. do as u wish, close the file or close Maya.. anything. just DON'T FORGET TO TURN ON THE HISTORY. afterwards if u need to modify ur object in low res, just put division = 0 in input section.(plz see the attached picture) and have ur way!
hope this is wht u had been looking for, stonemason ....
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:48 AM   #11
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Thats what I was getting at with my last sentance
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:52 AM   #12
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oh :attn:
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:00 PM   #13
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now we cam all get some sleep
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