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Old 08-11-2008, 12:52 PM   #1
grunze
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Smile Double Helix

Hi,

I'm looking for a tutorial to explain how to create a double helix.

Anybody have any ideas??
Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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how about a twist deformer?
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:01 AM   #3
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Grunze

LOL great, I modelled one of these for a medical documentary for Discovery channel, the series is due to start this week. Anyway being the only modeller on the show I was faced with the same problem of how to start it.

I got my references together first and chose an appropriate version that was quick and easy to do. I intitially used a curve to get the shape but it wasnt accurate enough while I tweaked it so after about half an hour I found this little plugin/script on Highend 3d that can generate the curve exactly how you want it. then I just duped it and extruded a shape up and round the paths, for the inner branches I made one, place it into position and then using shift>D in maya auto duped it up and into the other places, then tweaked where needed, it was pretty straight forward. Once I get the released movie from the VFX house I'll post it up for you to view.

anyway the plugin is here http://www.highend3d.com/maya/downlo...elix-1154.html

you may need to register first to obtain it. Its free so....

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Old 09-11-2008, 02:29 AM   #4
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Mad as Jay

I modeled one of these a few weeks back for some freelance stuff, it was for educating kids in school.

I modeled it "flat" like a ladder then used the twist deformer and then a lattice to tweek it in places to better match the ref.
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Old 17-11-2008, 10:39 PM   #5
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Hi guys...

Thanks for the help, but I'm still a bit confused..

I've tried both methods. I tried making a ladder using two cylinders, and the thin rectangular polygons as the connecting bars. Then when I combined them, and applied a twist deformer, the cylinders became very thin in the middle, and the connecting bars fell out of place.. as in the attached pic.

Can you please give me some more detail..
I'd really appreciate it...

Thanks!!
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Old 17-11-2008, 11:46 PM   #6
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I'd recommend you check out the plugin Jay mentioned. It might be the path of least resistance. If you want a step-by-step, Here's a video tutorial on how to create a double helix. It's for Lightwave so you would have to adjust for Maya but it still may give you some ideas:

http://www.pixelandpoly.com/video011.html

LOL great, I modelled one of these for a medical documentary for Discovery channel, the series is due to start this week. Anyway being the only modeller on the show I was faced with the same problem of how to start it.
Damn, Jay. I keep telling my wife that that's my dream gig...give up web development and do 3D for the various info channels (Discovery, History Channel, Animal Planet, etc. etc.) I think Meteor up in Canada does a lot of work for them. I've been getting a kick out of "Jurassic Fight Club" and the other one that puts the host in the environment with the prehistoric creatures but they make it seem like a current documentary....for example he goes scuba diving and encounters Megalodon among other dinosaurs. Stressful but fun stuff.
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Old 18-11-2008, 12:07 AM   #7
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Hi again,

I found a different tutorial on creating a spiral using the cv curve tool.. I converted to poly, duplicated and then created one twisted cross bar, and then duplicated that 73 times using the dup special.. and here is the result!!

PS: I live about 20 minutes from Meteor studios in Montreal, and from what I hear, they are going through rough times.. not paying some freelance contracts, and lots of messy stuff out there..

Anyways,
Thanks for the help!!
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Old 18-11-2008, 12:10 AM   #8
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here is the tutorial I found...

http://www.christerb.com/tutorials/m...ral/index.html
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Old 18-11-2008, 12:31 AM   #9
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Hey Nitro

Yeah I know the series, I think the dude is Nigel Marvin, he's always doing that stuff. Its cool.

Yeah the discovery channel gig was a bit stressful for sure, alot of fun though. I helped on another one very briefly as well while I was there, on space travelling across the Universe. I had to make a giant Asteroid with erupting volcanic surface pockets for the other VFX guys to do their magic with particles and things. I did the whole model in Zbrush including dis maps and normal maps for the rugged surface.

that was a tough one as I was working from home at the weekend doing it while the vfx supervisor was in Canada, talk about tired at the end of it. Have attached a couple of images for you, one Zbrush and one of my Maya renders bfore sending it off to be animated

Jay
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Old 18-11-2008, 12:31 AM   #10
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and the other one

Jay
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Old 18-11-2008, 12:36 AM   #11
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Ari,

Ah, ok. I've seen that one before. I was looking for something more specific on the helix for ya. Glad you got it sorted out.

Regarding Meteor, that's a shame if it's just a matter of the current economy...not so much if it's just poorly run. I've been in both scenarios with web work....one, where the studio isn't making enough to pay out which affects everything and eventually tanks....to two, being one of many freelancers not getting paid for months and months on end (as long as a year) while the owners are jet-setting and driving jags. This particular company ended up on one our local news' "Shame on you" reports. Apparently, one of their freelance photographers had had enough and reported them which was good on him. It's amazing that some execs don't take into consideration that this is sole income to many freelancers....blowing off payments means no rent and no food on the table.


Originally posted by Jay
I helped on another one very briefly as well while I was there, on space travelling across the Universe. I had to make a giant Asteroid with erupting volcanic surface pockets for the other VFX guys to do their magic with particles and things. I did the whole model in Zbrush including dis maps and normal maps for the rugged surface
Cool stuff, Jay, and perfect for ZB. Was the final production model low poly with normal map then? How'd you get hooked up with the gig...it was remote, not in-house?
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Old 18-11-2008, 12:58 AM   #12
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No mate it was in house as I was already there at the studio working on the medical series as well. Its the same place I worked on Headcases too so my reputation was at stake LOL. They had probs with the original asteroid (which looked like potatoe with a fractal texture) and before the VFX supervisor went off to the Canadian studio he asked me if I could do it in a weekend at home which I did...for extra cash too!!

For the final we ended up adding geo to about 500k polys (mental ray rendering is fine with hi levels alot of the time) then added the dis and normal map to make it pop as the camera zooms right in close.

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Old 18-11-2008, 01:15 AM   #13
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Got it. I wasn't exactly sure where they were located.
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