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Home ? Tech Help ? is there a set of scaled reference models...?

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27/08/2015 14:55:02

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
LOVE this software! I'm already evangelizing it on every internet forum I subscribe to! (Trying to send you customers)

I like that you have made the product infinitely extensible by providing a way for users to create their own models and bring them into Muvizu in a variety of different ways! VERY powerful stuff!

I know I'll be a content creator / contributor once I get my brain wrapped around all the details, but....

My recurring problem is that I have no point of dimensional reference when building my models. It would be great if there existed an inanimate solid model shaped like each of the characters and saved as an .obj file so people could import it into their preferred modelling program and build their accessories at the same scale and coordinates as the characters. (specifically, the XYZ coordinates used for spawning new characters... )


Not asking for freebies here, I would gladly pay for a set of such models.
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27/08/2015 17:06:26

ziggy72Muvizu mogulExperimental user
ziggy72
Posts: 1988
Been asked for before, but no news yet... Making (separate) accessories is trial and error anyway because you could be using the characters at a different scale from the default, so you can't always guarantee they'll look right anyway. Objects loaded as Attachments scale with the character so size isn't so much of an issue with them.
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28/08/2015 10:20:23

DyllyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dylly
Posts: 555
As Ziggy says 'been asked for but no news yet'. But in the meantime here is how I get around problems of scale within Muvizu.


I built my own tool kit as props for Muvizu all scaled to my preferred measurement units of my modelling application. The measure in the image is one of the tools I use the most along with a protractor for measuring angles.

Dreeko made a tutorial on importing floorplans to work from as a guide to set building, but as Ziggy says it's pretty much trial and error but my little prop tool kit does help me to nail things a little more accurately.

Edited to add:

Whilst modelling my High Poly models I use a set of Muvizu Character 'volumes'. The coloured boxes in the image below represent the area taken up by each Muvizu character. This gives me a handy guide for things like door clearances etc and to scale 'by eye' for props in a scene.

edited by Dylly on 28/08/2015
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28/08/2015 16:00:32

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
would you be willing to share your tool kit?

I'm retired, so I have a lot of time to throw at this... yesterday I spent all day resizing and re-importing a hat design. My last attempt before going to bed exhausted was scaled so small in the modelling program that the grid wouldn't go any smaller...

its an architectural modelling package, so the dimensions are accurate. I made the hat 2 mm wide, and when I imported it into Muvizu it was still wayyyyy too large for the scaling sliders to make it fit.

I opened my .ase file in notepad, and compared the coordinates to those of another .ase file I got on the asset download page (which imports correctly)... and the coordinate values appeared to be in the same ballpark. The values were in the same range on both sides of the xyz origin, so I would logically expect the width of both imports to be about the same... but they aren't.

And the fact that the physical size of my model is +/- 1mm from origin... I'm not sure I can make it much smaller.

Is anybody aware of an .ase IMPORT utility? or of a modelling package that natively imports .ase files? If I had that, I could import other props that are sized appropriately, and make mine to match.

I did find an FBX importer for Sketchit, but when I tried to import an FBX asset, it said that "ascii FBX is not supported"
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29/08/2015 19:31:45

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
After throwing days at the problem, I'm close to having a generic head shape for the fat man character, that's positioned at approximately where his head is spawned. That way, I can create accessories around it, and when I import them to MUVIZU, they'll come in at the right place. (or, at least close enough to position them with the sliders)

Once I have it sized a little better, I'll mark the location of the mouth so people can import it to their preferred modelling program and use it to position their own add-ons like noses, ears, hats, face masks, helmets etc. Knowing where the mouth is will let people create masks that don't cover it up. With the mouth exposed, all the lip synch stuff will still work even with face masks.

Finally, I'll save it as an .OBJ file so it loads into virtually every 3D modelling program, and post it for downloading by anybody who might find it useful
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31/08/2015 11:00:01

DyllyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dylly
Posts: 555
Scale took me quite a while to crack. It didn't help that at one point there was a difference in scale between Muvizu Standard and Muvizu Play+. There's also the question of the 'Unreal Unit' which alters with each new release. Currently, and to the best of my knowledge, there are approximately 15.3 Unreal Units to the foot and 50.3 Unreal Units to the meter.

Before I go any further could I point out a number of strokes have left me unable to count the change in my own pocket. A recent trip to a lumber yard to buy several hundred 'feet' of mahogany for my boat (expensive) and boats are built using the Imperial Measurement system, resulted in the salesman explaining 'they only sold wood in meters'. I replied 'I only buy in feet' and went to the yard next door to spend my couple of grand.

These days I use 3Ds Max for my modelling having spent years trying to get my head around various packages and modelling 'rules' or should I say conventions. I finally realised the importance of modelling in quads, hence ditching dear old SketchUp, and settled on a rough scale of my own.

I set Max up to centimeters as the unit measurement and equate 1 unreal unit to 1 cm. So far so good, but this helps in no way with scaling for Muvizu which seems to have a scale all of its own. You only have to look at the proportions of the different characters to see what I mean. Sinister is so much taller than any other character, yet when he sits down...he sits to the same proportion.


I tend to use 'character volumes' when modelling as an initial guide. For example Sinister occupies roughly, approximately, there abouts, an area equal to a box that is 70cm x 70cm x 270cm. This is the area covered by his stance...feet spread. By all means I'm willing to share my 'toolkit' just message me and I will email you a copy. However if you were to make your own measure for use in Muvizu I think it would give you a better 'feel' for the scale. Set your modelling software to 'cms' and make two boxes around 400cm tall divided into 10cm gradations. Texture the thing so you can read the scale and then import it into Muvizu. This will give you an idea of how the units in your modelling software correlate to Muvizu.

So back to the volumes...making a hat for Sinister it will sit on a plane of 70cm x 70cm in my modelling software. I then import it into Muvizu and adjust the scale to fit. Read off the scale...then email my Father in Law to do the math for me, this bit of course is optional and although Phillip is an amiable chap I do have to help with mowing lawns and cutting grass in return for the calculation assistance...and then adjust the scale of my model in the modelling program to suit.

The old fashioned pencil and notebook (squared paper) is often employed to jot down certain measurements. For example I model Muvizu chairs from a cube measuring 46cm.

The thing that has fascinated me regarding Muvizu is just how it prompts you to develop skills in other areas, such as modelling, graphic design etc. Whilst struggling with a particular model I was making two years back I noticed that my local university ran a degree course on computer game modelling and 3D animation. So I gave them a ring to see if they could help and whether it would be interesting to actually take the course as a (very) mature student. I was quite taken aback when they replied 'Oh that's a bit too advanced for a degree course. Have you ever thought of teaching?".

As I slip into my dotage I'm looking forward to reading the article in The Times, after I've checked the obituaries to make sure I'm not dead, where the likes of MrDrWho13 have won the animation Oscar and I can tell the care staff 'I met him once you know' before they spoon the rest of the liquidized smoked haddock into my cakehole to stop my senile ramblings. You never know!
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31/08/2015 16:27:25

urbanlamb
urbanlamb
(Account inactive)
Posts: 1796
you can do all this in blender although the fbx exporter is lacking in certain areas if you get something called 3dexchange pipeline from reallussion it will let you finish the model with normal maps etc if you lay it out properly in blender. You can also try maya LT it should give the toolset you need as 3dsmax is extremely expensive for the hobbyist. There are a few other options out there modo and something called silo so lots of options but I like to promote blender cause its like "free and opsensourced" and quite neat. (even though some of its plugins are lacking).

The scale for muvizu is the unreal scale and its the default layout so you just set up your grid like that or if your wierd like me you just remember how to scale stuff in your head on the default grid blender starts as.

here it is for blender and the scale has not changed between unreal 3 & 4 so this info still applies. Then just create a cube on that grid and export to muvizu and decide how many you would stack to match the height of a character etc. And again if your strange like me you just keep it in your head.



I also use something called 3dcoat although I must confess I dont use the fbx export utility directly since I use it for character creation.. I would imagine one could export directly to muvizu.. if you figure out how

Lots of options out there really.
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31/08/2015 18:32:33

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
Thanks to UrbanLamb and Dylly for such detailed responses! The video on BLENDER to UNREAL will be very helpful once I absorb the information contained therein.

Dylly, I really enjoy your sense of humor! Thanks for sharing all of your hard-earned knowledge.

The topic is unduly complicated by the fact that there are so many 3d modelling programs, and their coordinate systems and scaling aren't the same. I had figured out that much already, but the video now gives me a lot more info to work with.

I'm not competely stupid about 3D modelling.. (as a manufacturing engineer I used Unigraphics NX6 to build models, then apply CNC machining tool paths to them. Unfortunately the price tag of NX makes MAYA look like freeware. My first two homes combined cost less than a seat of NX. )

... but I FEEL stupid because I have several of the free modelling packages (Sketchup, Blender and DesignSpark3D) and they just don't seem intuitive to me. I bought SILO2 for $99 USD, and it is beginning to make sense to me. So for now I just use the other packages as import-export pathways because they all seem to have options the other packages don't. I see real value in learning Blender though.. it looks amazingly powerful for a free open-source application... especially considering the fact that others on this forum use it with MUVIZU.

So for now I continue using trial and error to build my models. Since it appears that a set of scaled reference models has been requested in the past, I may go ahead and invest the time to make that set, one for each of the 17 standard characters. I justify the time because I figure that anything that makes it easier for others to create new content... the whole MUVIZU community will benefit from that new content.

And MUVZU itself, as a product, becomes more valuable to potential buyers because of its extensibility and the large number of free props that are available for it. I like this product and I want it to live long and prosper.
edited by PatMarrNC on 31/08/2015
edited by PatMarrNC on 31/08/2015
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31/08/2015 18:51:20

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
I just got an email saying that SILO is being offered at a reduced price, in case anybody might be interested. Here's a link to the sale write-up:

http://sites.fastspring.com/smithmicro/product/22145?utm_source=thirdpty&utm_medium=email&hq_e=el&hq_m=2449180&hq_l=4&hq_v=a28cb2cfcb

here are a few SILO tutorials

product overview


(how to make a helmet, very useful in MUVIZU)


creature modelling


UV mapping
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31/08/2015 19:52:20

urbanlamb
urbanlamb
(Account inactive)
Posts: 1796
check that it offers fbx or not although there is ways to deal with that. Silo is pretty overpriced I feel at its regular price but if you can pick it up cheap it might be of some use especially if it has an fbx format which I dont know if it does or not.

you can check into hexagon as well but I dont know if it has a texturing option or not.. i think it has an fbx plugin.
edited by urbanlamb on 31/08/2015
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20/06/2016 18:40:41

Machiya
Machiya
Posts: 16
Just to add a piece of information for those looking in the future.

There are 16 Muvizu units in 1ft or 50.4934 in 1m.
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Home ? Tech Help ? is there a set of scaled reference models...?