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Old 08-01-2004, 05:29 PM   #1
james_s
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Question Displacement/Texture map design???

Are there any Honor Harrington (David Weber) fans around?

The attached image of a "Dreadnaught" has several shots of a model I created in SolidWorks (an engineering CAD package) and a shot of the new and improved version that I'm starting to build in Maya.

I created a test texture map with AliasSketchbook and got it correctly placed on the model, but am now stuck with very limited understanding of creating GOOD displacement and texture maps. The spaceship is supposed to be almost a mile long, so surface detail is going to be very important in conveying a sense of scale and I can't figure out how to achieve this. All of the detail in the SolidWorks model was actual geometry -- SolidWorks deals only in solids, so such detail in the geometry is expected and does not carry Maya's performance penalties. I tried importing the model to Maya from IGES and it came in looking great...at just over 300,000 polygons... Time to start over.

I've seen a lot of tutorials on texture placement or using something like DeepPaint3D, but is there anything out there for those of us using only Maya and Photoshop?
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Old 08-01-2004, 11:26 PM   #2
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SOLIDWORKS deals in parametric models. Traditional autocad CATIA and CV deals in Solids. You will have to rethink the way you model. I am also a mechanical Designer by trade. The geometry comes in very ugly doesn't it. When you do the hole comand in solidworks you will never see the geomtry bumbles. Now you can see why fillets fail so much. Look at the junk that really makes the model. You will never see it that way in solidworks but that is the true parametric model geomtry.

You are now working with clay. Model in surfaces and weld them together. Still though, if you would engineer it in peices, then model it in peices. Do not make it one connected model. Also stay away from Booleans. This is the best peices of advice I can give you. Let me know if you nead any help.
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Old 08-01-2004, 11:55 PM   #3
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Rick knows his stuff.

and UV mapping a oject like this can be fairly simple (compared to othe things) for textures.
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:39 PM   #4
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Pony: I noticed on your dragon thread that you used a texture that had different colors and numbers - I guess to help you visualize where the textures were landing on the model. I haven't been able to find that texture -- can you point me to it?

Rick: Thanks for the advice on booleans. Because I'm so used to cutting down a solid to arrive at a part (SolidWorks) I have been very tempted to head straight to the booleans in Maya. This is a completely different approach to building a model -- and it's still messing me up in a big way!
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:52 AM   #5
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No prob, hear I put just it up on my web space.
http://members.cox.net/pony2012/mapping_grid_color.zip

Full credit for this though gose to Dannyngan. It comes from his UV mapping tools I belive.

I intend to make my own verstion sometime soon.
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:40 PM   #6
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Thanks Pony and Danny!

I spent several hours over the weekend working on a displacement map and I'm going to apply it to the model this morning...

Here's hoping all goes well!
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:18 PM   #7
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Okay. Applied the DMap and have questions.

The tessellation of some of the smooth geometry is being distorted (#1) by the DMap features. What can be done to eliminate/improve the distortion?

The quality of the features is far less than I had hoped for (#2). I am currently applying a single 2048x2048 DMap to the entire object -- the "nose" of the spaceship. I have pre-filter on the DMap set to 2.0, Quadratic. In the model DMap settings, I have the Initial and Extra Sample Rates maxed out to 100 and 50, respectively. This has driven my render time (on a dual 2.8Ghz w/ 2GB RAM machine) to over 8 minutes at 640x480, Production Quality. To improve detail, should I be applying individual DMaps to specific faces, or is there a better way? Perhaps I'm going about this all wrong...?

Also, not all of the bends in the model geometry are being picked up by the wireframe view. This caused me to place DMap features across bends that I would not have, had I realized the bend was there. Is there a way to increase the detail level of the wireframe?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:42 PM   #8
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Did you use boleans on that reagion that the smoothing did that? For Dmaps to work you nead really high tesselation on your surface. It really all depends on how close you want the camera also. I usually use high res bump maps because it is very seldom the camera will get close enough to tell the deference.
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:29 PM   #9
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No Booleans! I took your advice to heart on that one.

Anyway, the ship is supposed to be more than a mile long, so I'd like to be able to fly it right past the camera (think Star Destroyer). That's why I was planning on using displacement mapping to get additional detail out of the model.

I don't have Maya in front of me right now -- I'm on my laptop -- but I take it from your comment that I can get higher resolution out of bump maps than DMaps...?

I had been planning on using bump maps to add the LOWER detailed surface features.

Now I'm really getting concerned that I'm going about this all wrong...

Is it possible to get more detail by making the model "bigger"? I wouldn't think so due to the limitation of the DMap texture. Also, what about DMapping individual patches to maximize the rez of the map vs. surface area? Can this be done?

Also, is there a way to increase the tesselation of my surface beyond what I've done with the DMap sample rate to improve the deformation?

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Old 14-01-2004, 02:33 PM   #10
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Well, I figured out why the wireframe view wasn't showing me all the bends. I didn't realize that quads could be non-planar. I traingulated. All better.

As for my questions about improving the detail levels, anyone have any advice?
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Old 14-01-2004, 06:32 PM   #11
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Sorry. I would model most of the detail and remember to always put a chmfer on all corners. Maya does not automatically do it so you are going to have to cut edges and move them. I never use dmaps due to the how slow my computer runs with them. I do not have much experience with them. One thing I would suggest is you get all your modeling done before you mess with dmaps or texturing.
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Old 14-01-2004, 06:42 PM   #12
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I guess I misunderstood the whole DMap purpose. I was under the impression that Maya dealt with the details more efficiently as DMaps... If that's not the case, are they mainly utilized because surface deformation can be done "faster" than by modelling it? Or...are they supposed to be used mainly for detail that would be too insignificant to model...?
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