Integrating 3D models with photography
Interested in integrating your 3D work with the real world? This might help
# 16 18-04-2011 , 10:52 PM
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Ive just had a read of this thread from the start. Its interesting. But please dont feel like everyone are keeping things to themselves here. This is probably the best forum for Maya help on the web. Every level of Maya user is on here and each and every one of them will help you providing they have an answer. So please, no more of this keeping info to ones self.....

I have used Poser models in the past and to be honest they arent the smartest meshes out of the box. They are very messy to begin with and making life easy for rigging isnt the greatest of their traits.

Getting belnd shapes done for facial animation with these meshes requires either the head and neck being removed (this causes problems when rendering unless you have smooth alpha channnels to hide seams) or the head can be removed, duplicated and then stitched back in a certain order allowing for blends to be done in a tidy way.

Yes, the best bet out of poser is an obj file as its probably the cleanest way of getting it into maya, assigning shaders is fairly straight forward too, usually there will be a gamut that comes thru with the model on export. If it is red it just means theres no shaders/textures attached to the uvs, the color used to be green but how times have changed LOL

shading: yes a real pain. talk about going around the houses. I believe four or more shaders were in use when I was using these about 6 years back on a job (not including the eyes. It is possible to scale all the uvs and sew them together to reduce the amount of shader networks in the scene, of course the textures would have to be realigned to the uv shells. I recall having to right click the shader to select the object with material and then assign the correct texture map to the shader. Judging by the way the eye texture is on your images, they are still far from optimising their uv setup.

I used poser figures to learn about character modelling and this way was a big no no. With most maya users, they generally make their own as a custom mesh as oposed to a procedural one is far far better, and you are not being dictated to with limitations on what can be achieved.

As dave says too, the case is to learn the basics with Maya like anything else, fundamentals are a key with maya as later on down the line you may trip up and have to start again. Maya is not carrara, as I am sure you are aware, it can and will cause you nightmares...wait til you get to rigging

cheers for now
Jay

# 17 19-04-2011 , 06:05 PM
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Thank you Dave and Jay for your responses.

Here is some background on me fyi:

The main thing about me is that I have limited HD space left in my brain so I tend to focus on a few things and everything else gets lost/deleted/?? (you can thank "Mr.Heineken" for that). I just watched some of a tutorial on shading and I can see how much of an animators life can be "lost" in the hypershade editor. Is it bad manners or bad etiquette to say that TOO many control/adjustment options are a bad thing? Even in the tutorial the instructor can't keep his/her hands off it, doing all kinds of tiny adjustments while instructing - its quite interesting to watch.

Coming from Carrara 8, I appreciated the fact that I could focus on things of the greatest interest to me like camera work, camera placement, (basic) animation, using motion capture files and learning how to light. Another big problem with that other program is that you can't check lighting/animation without rendering which is very annoying even on the minimum quality in the so-called "realistic settings"- Maya has many real time options that are worth the extra expense in the time saved. In fact, I made a 70 minute feature film in Stereo3D that I'm shopping around the festival circuit- A crazy funny story I hope people will enjoy..., eventually.

When I got the the decision to either learn more about Carrara or get into Maya I took a look at one test render I did in Maya and I felll in love!!! Set the doves free!!!!! (calm down, buddy)-- , Maya makes everything look so much better without even really trying in some cases and the rendering is much better/efficient which is why I am here.

I have done about 60 hours of tutorials so far and have a basic understanding of the software. Sometimes I just watch videos to see how things that I don't want to do (Jay, rigging looks like a potential nightmare for me!!!!!) . I just find that because the software is packed with all kinds of functionality its hard to get info on specific workflows.

What I am looking for is to "Narrowcast"- to go from having to learn about every single attribute for every single aspect of the software to learning a pipeline to get a character from poser to maya and nothing else.

I can't seem to find any tutorials where the model is a realistic human character. All of the one I previewed are for cartoon characters which is not my thing.

Anyways, I gotta get back to that chick with the glasses lynda.com for some more on the "Shader Network"--, that should be a tv show..., next week on "Shader Network" a young man learns about the dangers of MIB legacy Mental Ray shaders.


Last edited by me2011; 21-04-2011 at 10:17 PM.
# 18 19-04-2011 , 06:34 PM
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The tutorials for cartoon characters are pretty much the same for a more human type, its just a style, everything is made the same way from the ground up, its just using the eyes to turn it into something more realistic. No tutorial can teach you that, thats down to observations in every apsect of light and color down to shape and forms of human anatomy.

One thing with Poser that does bug me, is that being procedural characters you can never pass them off as your own design.

cheers
Jay

# 19 21-04-2011 , 08:11 PM
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Ahem..., (nervously clears throat)- Is this thing on?

I am making some progress in my search for a solution to get poser models into Maya.

I have found a wonderful tutorial that shows how realistic humans are made, the next section is on how the UVs work but I can already see some light at the end of the tunnel.

As far as I can tell so far, the meshes for the Poser models when imported are cut into separate pieces AND Maya decides to bind everything together automatically to the existing rig. I am moving forward on the premise that 1- a fully dressed model (but without hair) can be brought into Maya, then 2- the model needs to have the rig removed, 3- then the meshes sections are combined/merged then culled in the parts that are under the clothing, 4- then the clothing is combined/merged to the mesh, 5- and then the whole thing can be autorigged using a script.

I'm just looking for advice since I still don't know exactly what I'm doing (LOL)

For me this is all about work/cost benefit. I can see that most people want to make their own original models, and the ones that i have seen for sale online are good, but not high res enough for the movie work I would like to do. To me it seems like conforming Poser models that have so much work already in them is better use of time for me than making original ones from reference photos etc- In that case i would just commission original models and be done with it.

I am a screenwriter that wants to tell stories and animation is one way to tell stories with considerably less barriers when it comes to subject matter, nudity, action, exotic locales...., Since I want to make dramas with lots of talking heads and I'm not into any war/fantasy/sci-fi subject matter I feel more than capable to rise to the challenge.


Last edited by me2011; 21-04-2011 at 08:18 PM.
# 20 22-04-2011 , 09:55 AM
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there should be an option on the poser export to keep the model merged.

If you are still getting separated bits in Maya, run the merge vertices command with a low tolerance value of say around .01

Also when binding a model to a rig it will bind all that you have selected. You can of course choose to select and bind as you see fit and not all in one go. Things like eyes, hair tongues and so on can be parented to the rig instead of being skinned, which can make life easier.

Jay

# 21 27-04-2011 , 09:51 PM
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I'm back with another photo of my progress to get a poser model into Maya for animation.

As you can see in the photo things are looking pretty good with the 2K texture for the skin except for the eyelashes which are messed up.

In Final Cut pro you can just key out a color that you don't want- in this case it would be the black color around the bark brown eyelashes. How do I "key" out the black in Maya?
Please and thanks.

EDIT: I found the tutorial for getting the eyelashes looking okay, but they are a little too light, mainly because of the eyelash map, maybe I will swap the file with another from a V4 model.

And it only took 4 hours of going through the tutorials to find that I just needed to load the same eyelash png file in the transparency slider, then invert the pic and play with the gain settings.

Next up-
1- I might throw this whole thing into Zbrush (the trial) and (try to ) Decimate it if possible to bring the poly count down.

2-Maya Hair or SHAVE AND A HAIR CUT

When I am finished this madness I promise to post my findings.



Cheers !

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Last edited by me2011; 29-04-2011 at 12:51 AM.
# 22 29-04-2011 , 12:35 AM
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That's all transparency or a lack of it. Plug the texture into the transparency channel of the shader, you might have to run it through a reverse node because standard Maya materials will use black as opaque.


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# 23 04-05-2011 , 05:23 PM
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Progress Report:

For those of you interested, I have been able to get a fully clothed Poser/Daz model into Maya and got it rigged with The Setup Machine! As usual, I didn't think I was going to be able to even get this far. I will definitely need practice with placement of the joints and weight painting but the phrase "good enough for me" comes to mind.

Since I have limited HD space in my head I have to keep information down to a minimum because every time I learn something new it pushes things i still need out of my head! LOL! This is why I will have a more detailed account for those who are interested and I will have some/many/lots of questions for sure.

FYI: I had to abandon using Poser Pro 2010 because it turned out it was way too buggy/crashy on my system- probably something I am doing wrong- It also put bones inside of the clothing when exported out- it was a night mare,,, and expensive one too user added image ..., I already have Carrara8 which I used for my previous work, so now C8 is like the "dressing room" for my characters.

Next stop the hair which looks pretty straight forward....., famous last words...., The eyebrows might be a problem because the ones on the models look so faint.

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Last edited by me2011; 06-05-2011 at 12:44 AM.
# 24 15-08-2011 , 02:02 AM
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Wanting to know of your progress....

As Irony would have it, I'm about 3 months late on your post and I'm attempting to do the exact same thing. My name is Holly (Persephone) and I'm a recent Maya2011 purchasee. Yes I paid the BIG TICKET for it. Initially I was angry with the software because I thought it was just a ripoff - but the more i work with it - WOW! I'd just like to know if you (or anyone) has successfully rigged a model imported from Poser. I'm using poser 7 and the models import to Maya 11' excellently. THUS FAR.


Compare - Where you are to where you want to be and you'll get - nowhere...
# 25 15-08-2011 , 09:48 AM
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Good luck with the hair. Ive actually been using Maya hair recently, its pretty good, its just really set up that takes time then it works well.

J

# 26 24-08-2011 , 07:13 PM
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Sorry me2011
Its called the basics, you need to know them in any package, use them maya help line and search here as much as you can then if you are stuck ask here............dave

Some people learn best buy learning all the little details of the whole program then use that knowledge to solve any problems that come their way. other people- like me- benefit more by following a specific set of instructions to see how things are done and then branch out from that limited skill set- in the mean time they get to actually make things which is inspirational and motivational.


You can learn how to fix a car by taking a 4 year course or you can be an apprentice at a shop- two different paths to one goal.

# 27 30-08-2011 , 01:11 PM
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..., I'm a recent Maya2011 purchasee. Yes I paid the BIG TICKET for it. Initially I was angry with the software because I thought it was just a ripoff...,

I know how you feel! I think once you make the decision to jump into a pro software platform you really have to make an effort to find a place where you can find help- like here- Sooner or later you will find someone that has the time and patience to help you aout with specific problems.

I do think the lack of character models to use in Maya is kind of weird but then again we are entering a world that has rules, and going 'against' the grain is going to be met in most cases with indifference or even worse...,

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