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02-01-2009, 07:08 PM   #1
JGI
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Problem with Maya 2008's "Smooth Mesh Preview"
Greetings Maya enthusiasts!

I am new to Maya, and was hoping someone here can help me out with the following problem:

In Maya 2008, I am referring to the Smooth Mesh Preview feature (keyboard 1,2,3). When I imported a file (a DirectX Meta .X file converted to .OBJ), and tried to smooth the mesh (from 1 to 3), the polygons and edges detached and distorted into something I cannot really explain in words. Please examine the pictures I uploaded.

Before:


After:


If the pics don't show up, here are the direct links:
Keyboard 1, Original: http://i44.tinypic.com/34t64hy.jpg
Keyboard 3, Smooth: http://i40.tinypic.com/ne95yq.jpg

I just want to be able to smooth out the mesh the way every normal polygon surface/object is supposed to be smoothed. Not that mess you see in the picture above. Thanks!:p
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02-01-2009, 07:23 PM   #2
Acid44
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just looks to me like the verts arent connected
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02-01-2009, 07:25 PM   #3
JGI
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How do I connect the vertexes?
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02-01-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
Chirone
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make sure everything is the same mesh (select something and if everything selects then its one mesh)
then go to vertex selection, there might be two vertices on top of each other, so you'll have to drag-marquee select them, then hit the merge vertex button or in the menus (provided you're in the modelling menu set) go
Edit Mesh > Merge

but you have lots of verts that need to be merged, so what i suggest is select ALL vertices of the entire mesh, go Edit Mesh > Merge > []
then in the options change the Threshold to something small like 0.01, make sure "Always merge for two vertices" is selected then hit Merge or Apply
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03-01-2009, 09:50 AM   #5
JGI
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Thanks for the help, guys. I managed to smooth the object without it breaking up, but the result doesn't really look like how its supposed to.

1.) I guess I could tweak the verts until it more closely matches the original, but is there a way to more subtly adjust the level of smoothness, or am I stuck with 1,2,3? (2 looks like 3 but with outlines).

2.) Is there some script or plug-in that allows me to fine-tune the smoothing level/degree?

3.) Do you think all smooth features work roughly the same way between different platforms? Like, would you say 3dsMax's hyper-smoothing outputs the same result as Maya's smooth mesh preview?


4.) It is easy enough to marque an entire mesh and merge all the verts with a low threshold (I am glad), but quite time-consuming to select individual verts to separate say, a facial mesh from the eyeballs and eyelashes, and the head from the body. I know you can undo if you accidentally click out of your selection, but sometimes you make some changes and cannot afford to backtrack (or computer crashes). So is there a way to make Maya remember a selected array of verts, so you can always go back to same, very specific selection of verts, rather than having to start all over again if you cannot use "undo"?

3.) Can anyone recommend more precise tools or efficient methods for selecting a set of verts/edges/faces in a complicated scene/object? Example: In some models, the cloth layer and body layers are indistinguishable after importing, though it is possible, step-by-step to separate the verts/edges/faces related to cloth from body, thereby recovering both body and clothes, as opposed to being stuck with a clothed mesh.

Thanks!
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03-01-2009, 10:28 AM   #6
Chirone
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1. not sure? you could hit the Mesh > Smooth button, this will actually smooth your mesh permanently (undoable, but it could get lost in the undo steps)
you could switch it to subDs, it works a little different to polys but it's still somewhat the same. you can just go into finer details
the box you see when you hit 2 is the box of the original mesh. you can modify that box and the changes will be reflected in the smooth preview

2. not sure what sort of level you want, but you could convert to subD (if you get an error doing this then read it and do what it suggests)

3. haven't used 3DS Max ever, but i have used XSI. i think they use the same algorithm, so a smooth in one program will give the same results as a smooth in the other. TBH, i think XSI probably has what you could be looking for? hit the + button on your numpad and you start to smooth the mesh, hit the - and i does the opposite, although the smoothing will always look the same unless you add extra edges

4. if you accidentally unselect evertyhing then you can only use undo to select everything back.
not like in XSI where if you were in vertex selection, switch to some other selection and switch back to vertex selection and all the vertices you used to have selected are selected again.

3. (was that meant to be 5?) use the paint select tool, it will only select/unselect things in a user defined radius. it's on your toolbox on the left there
also, you should use the display layers. on the bottom right there is a panel with two radio buttons (or 3 if you have 2009)
the first one is your display layers. they are like layers in photoshop, except you can only turn the layer visible, or unselectable.
create a new layer
add selected objects
click on the little square on the left of the layer name
you'll toggle between visible, unselectable but visible, and normal



i think it's worth noting how smoothing works
if i got this right then what it does is it takes two vertices that are joined by an edge and linearly or parametrically (i think it's the latter) interpolates a curve
in otherwords, it takes two verts and makes a curve between them

the closer the verts are the sharper the curve
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Computer skills I should have:
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03-01-2009, 10:39 AM   #7
Jay
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C'mon guys, the problems of smoothing are occuring are because of the tri's in the mesh, for better results use quads. It doesnt matter if its subds or polys. tris wont smooth correctly - without hassle or having even less of them - period

Jay
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03-01-2009, 02:09 PM   #8
JGI
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Hey guys,

I tried to quadrangulate the mesh but it didn't seem to make much of a difference when I hit smooth. Maybe the problem is that the mesh was imported in triangles rather than quads?

I uploaded some pictures for comparison. See how the original mesh is smooth too, but the model itself is a chunk of blocky polygons. As triangles or quads, the Maya smoothed model doesn't look how its supposed to.




Chirone: Thanks for the tips. I'll look more into the "paint select tool."

Its too bad Maya can't save unique vertex selections.

-
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03-01-2009, 11:25 PM   #9
elephantinc
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Is that the main character from no one lives for ever?
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11-02-2009, 05:27 PM   #10
nuki
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the mesh in the game is not smoothed by adding more polygons to it (as the mesh-smoot or smoot mesh preview do) but simply smooth shaded. to achieve that select the whole object, go to normals - soften edge (in the polygon menu)
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24-02-2009, 02:45 PM   #11
bluemana
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When i press number 3 while selecting an object it does look smoothed.
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