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Home ? Importing Assets ? Ambient Occlusion and UV Maps

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09/09/2011 23:38:39

DyllyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dylly
Posts: 555
After watching the excellent tutorials on the new build..particularly number 6 on importing 3d objects I decided that the model I was importing from sketchup was too 'realistic' for a muvizu set. So with a spare afternoon, which turned into an evening...and now night...and with the other half nagging in my ear (fortunately she lives next door so has gone home to watch can't cook won't cook & there's nowt else on the menu) I set out to learn sketchup so I could import my own model.

Now I have my model...but how do I make an Ambient Occlusion map, cheaply and simply? I've sat through several hours of blender tutorials (ye Gods...they need tips from Muvizu) and even downloaded blender but I'm still non the wiser.

Does anyone have any tips to get those nice shadows onto my very basic, wobbly (MKii will have equal sized legs...I will be more appreciative of the kids woodwork when they bring it home) model?

(I'd better nip down the 24hr garage and buy her some flowers...the things I do for bacon and eggs and the occasional steak and kidney pie!)
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09/09/2011 23:57:08

barrys
barrys
Posts: 102
Hello Dylly

I'm not really familiar with Sketchup but you may want to look at a free app called xNormal. It's a texture baking program that, i think, uses the standard OBJ format.

Barry
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14/09/2011 08:45:24

DyllyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dylly
Posts: 555
Thanks barrys I've downloaded the app and I thought I was all set to bake out my AO map, until I tried loading the basic object I'd created with the id map only into Muvizu. I used UV mapper to create the id map...but when I import the ase file I still get an amorphous pink blob.
Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong? Or is there a tutorial out there...or is it just a case of admiting defeat and selling the wife and kids....selling the kids to buy maya?
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14/09/2011 09:43:58

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
toonarama
Posts: 311 I am no SKETCHUP expert at all and i am not sure this is what you are after but I have managed to export textures ok. There is probably a better way but this is what I did.
1. Starting in SuP - Opened the materials window
2. Select tab and pick "In Model" materials from drop down list
3. For each material in the model RC and Export Texture image to wherever you want to keep them
4. In Muvizu import set USE ID TEXTURES to NO
5. RC on object and amend the textures to the ones previously saved.
6. Sometimes the image is not the correct size. To fix this go back into S UP Materials window and select the material you want to change and select EDIT tab and then adjust the tiling size numbers at the bottom. Trial and error to get to the size you require. Then you will need to re-export.

Whichever way to choose to do it I think you will always need to re-assign the textures (or colours) within Muvizu (unless it is just one complete texture map)

AND also be aware that there are currently issues within the latest release which will cause problems so if you want to experiment I would download the previous release (also available on the downloads page)


If you are usinf one map for the whole model you may need to just play around with the import options (notably "use id textures")
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14/09/2011 10:12:46

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
Also worth taking a look at this post which involved texture maps and worked!

http://www.muvizu.com/forum/topic1200-resources.aspx#post6434
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14/09/2011 21:10:42

Quoling
Quoling
Posts: 112
Ok by RC - I assume you mean Right click? - where? - all I see is a list of materials with no option to save - this is using SU 8.0 - can you please confirm what you mean? dunno - ok managed to get the RC working but it saves as *.skm which Muvizu does not recognise...any chance of a simple video tut to show how to do this? - doh! - ok I missed read the instructions and was choosing save as instead of export!! - will try again. .... nope still don't work..once I get the RC - the option is now greyed out werd
edited by Quoling on 14/09/2011
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14/09/2011 22:04:16

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
Quoling

Just checked it out

The option to export is greyed out if the material is a colour rather than a texture.
If you right click on atexture file it does allow export.
If you let me know which model you are downloading I will give it a go here
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15/09/2011 10:29:39

JamieMuvizu staff
Jamie
(Account inactive)
Posts: 609
I thought I'd post slightly related video I made just before this thread took off. I use a similar method to toonarama for exporting models from Sketchup although, I tend to go to http://www.cgtextures.com/ and find what I want to use and then import them into Sketchup as it means I get the look I want exactly. It does mean that I apply a texture per face though, instead of doing a UV map.



--
Direct, don't animate!
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15/09/2011 11:48:19

Quoling
Quoling
Posts: 112
toonarama wrote:
Quoling

Just checked it out

The option to export is greyed out if the material is a colour rather than a texture.
If you right click on atexture file it does allow export.
If you let me know which model you are downloading I will give it a go here


I worked that out late last night - although it still seems very strange to me - for example I have tried a "General Lee" car from sketchup - I have also tried a X-Wing model which although I have now managed to export the textures I cannot get to look like the original model.... dunno
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15/09/2011 11:59:15

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
Must admit importing SuP models seems to be a bit of hit and miss affair.
Anything too complicated and things tend to get a bit messed up; I often find planes go missing.

Also it would be nice to have a guide on what all the import options are; just in case we're doing something wrong!
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15/09/2011 12:07:50

Quoling
Quoling
Posts: 112
toonarama wrote:
Must admit importing SuP models seems to be a bit of hit and miss affair.
Anything too complicated and things tend to get a bit messed up; I often find planes go missing.

Also it would be nice to have a guide on what all the import options are; just in case we're doing something wrong!


Agreed - can you give me a model to search for in SU that you know works then I can try the steps and that way I know I am doing it right and it's just my choice of model that is the problem.
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15/09/2011 12:14:59

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
I'm at work at the moment(!) but why not create a simple cube in sketchup and fill with a texture using the paint bucket then try.
Otherwise look for something really simple (football?)
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15/09/2011 12:51:20

Quoling
Quoling
Posts: 112
toonarama wrote:
I'm at work at the moment(!) but why not create a simple cube in sketchup and fill with a texture using the paint bucket then try.
Otherwise look for something really simple (football?)


Aren't we all (at work ) - I must be missing something really simple - if I import the texture the entire object gets covered in that texture instead of just the area... oh well going to work on something else anyway so won't worry about it for now - thanks for the input though.
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15/09/2011 16:51:19

DyllyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dylly
Posts: 555
Due to the power constraints on my little laptop I was having problems with complex scenes, and I wanted a mad scientist’s lab so the original idea was to knock up a set that had various planes etc that I could quickly customize with as fewer props etc as possible.
When I first set up the sketchup exporter I followed Jamie’s tutorial and put in a ‘pink’ bitmap called toto.bmp. I’ve now discovered that this pink map was affecting the colours of imported objects. I’ve since changed the colour of this toto.bmp image to white and the colours are a little easier to work with.
Having made a very basic sketchup model I decided that it needed Muvizuing up, ie odd angles to doors etc. I then watched the new tutorial on importing models and was struck by the colours and shading on the industrial conveyor model and decided to have a go. This is where most of my problems cropped up. Generating a UV map for the model I did in UV Mapper and mapped an .obj export of my model. This seemed to work in other applications, but I cannot for the life of me work out how to produce a map which I can apply to the .ase file in Muvizu, and as for an AO map I managed to work out how this was done in blender but getting the UV map into blender is another kettle of fish.
In desperation I opened up the .ase files of both the industrial conveyor and my compset.ase and noticed that the conveyor did not refer to a toto.bmp could this be part of the problem?
Anyhow if anyone wants to have a fiddle here are the .ase files with the uv map for the compset and the sketchup and .ase files for the rubbish tube prop I was fiddling around with. Compset http://www.mediafire.com/?lcnk2dobt0wop55 and the rubbish tube http://www.mediafire.com/?i2p4l3c6cccetsl .
A quick screenshot of what I was intending below.
http://twitgoo.com/4iyl9v
edited by Dylly on 15/09/2011
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16/09/2011 11:01:17

Emily
Emily
(Account inactive)
Posts: 346
Hiya Dylly,

You say you're working on a mad scientist lab?
You may be in for a treat.
The next (patch) release of Muvizu will contain plenty of science-type items for this. It will be available at some point in the near-distant future

Emily.
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16/09/2011 11:13:02

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
Emily wrote:
The next (patch) release of Muvizu will contain plenty of science-type items for this. It will be available at some point in the near-distant future

Emily.


Wonderful - I could definitely make use of that. Nearly every idea I have for a movie features a mad scientist somewhere along the way!
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16/09/2011 12:15:44

DyllyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dylly
Posts: 555
Excellent news Emily...after sharing an office with a chemistry doctorate who made things go bang whenever he got bored/drunk or both....hmmm...brain cells in overdrive, can't wait for the patch!
Tim
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20/09/2011 11:16:45

JamieMuvizu staff
Jamie
(Account inactive)
Posts: 609
Dylly wrote:
When I first set up the sketchup exporter I followed Jamie’s tutorial and put in a ‘pink’ bitmap called toto.bmp. I’ve now discovered that this pink map was affecting the colours of imported objects. I’ve since changed the colour of this toto.bmp image to white and the colours are a little easier to work with. Having made a very basic sketchup model I decided that it needed Muvizuing up, ie odd angles to doors etc. I then watched the new tutorial on importing models and was struck by the colours and shading on the industrial conveyor model and decided to have a go. This is where most of my problems cropped up. Generating a UV map for the model I did in UV Mapper and mapped an .obj export of my model. This seemed to work in other applications, but I cannot for the life of me work out how to produce a map which I can apply to the .ase file in Muvizu, and as for an AO map I managed to work out how this was done in blender but getting the UV map into blender is another kettle of fish.
In desperation I opened up the .ase files of both the industrial conveyor and my compset.ase and noticed that the conveyor did not refer to a toto.bmp could this be part of the problem?



Hi Dylly,

I've spent some time looking into this problem of yours and have some results. The first is that it was http://www.muvizu.com/Profile/glasgowjim/Latest/ (glasgowjim) not myself who made the tutorials

Secondly, the toto.bmp is a bit of a red herring. You don't need it at all, all it does is provide a default image or material for when the one referenced in the sketchup model does not exist on your hard drive. This is the 3rd point, or tip rather, what I do when I am doing a model is to select all of the model, right click on it and select "Entity Info" this should show a question mark thumbnail icon which means there are multiple materials on your model, by clicking on this and scrolling to the top of the list you can select the default (blank texture) this should remove any unexpected material references on your model and avoid the whole toto.bmp situation. You made need to double check the whole model as sketchup works in a double sided face mode, which means you have 2 textures per face. One for the front and one for the back and sometimes one side isn't updated when you do this. This then is the next point, having looked at your model, I suspect the reason it does not look right once you import it into Muvizu is that half your faces have the back pointing out and the other half have the front point out. Once you import it into Muvizu this means that it will look like part of the model is missing. There are 2 ways to fix this, you can import the model as double sided in Muvizu (but if it's a memory intensive scene you probably don't want to do this) and the second way is to find the face that are the wrong way around in sketchup and right click on them and then reverse the face. The ASE export plugin (HardPCM's version) can use either the white or blank face to export or the blue / grey face. Personally I prefer the white / blank faces to be pointing out as, like you've noted about making a white toto.bmp file, it makes it easier to texture and see the colours. Lastly, looking at your sketchup model, there are a few optimisations you can make. Inside of the rubbish pipe you have a lot of un-needed lines (vertices) and faces mostly these are around the "bolts" on the pipe as you have the entire sphere still inside the pipe, there is also a random unconnected line inside the pipe where it curves around at the top, I presume this was a guide line at some point? Finally at the bottom you had doubled up the faces on the bottom. Hopefully this all helps.

I worked through all this and updated the model as described and then I made a ID texture for it, note this is slightly different from a UV map, however sketchup does give problems when exporting textures and I couldn't get it to line up quiet right once it was imported into Sketchup. I then moved onto taking the updated sketchup model into Blender and generating proper UV maps and AO maps. This worked a lot better and I was able to export an ASE from blender with the UV and AO maps. It should be pointed out that even if you generate a UV map using another application you won't be able to just apply it to the ASE file created in sketchup as you need to encode into the ASE file where the UV map is applied to the model in order for the layout sections within the UV map to line up.

There is a lot to take in here, I may try to find time to make hints and tips videos covering these points in a easier, more digestible way. In the meantime I hope this helps you and I'd be happy to send you the updated sketchup model, ASE files, UV and AO maps.

Cheers,
Jamie.

--
Direct, don't animate!
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29/11/2011 14:49:09

DyllyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dylly
Posts: 555
Big Fanfare & Roll of drums....I think I sussed it...I think, maybe...

Now it may be just a box to you but to me it's a little triumph!

http://twitpic.com/7lmrd1
As usual a daft question will follow ...and here it is...so to make my image map smaller err...do I just shrink it to 512x512 size in photoshop?
edited by Dylly on 29/11/2011
edited by Dylly on 29/11/2011
edited by Dylly on 29/11/2011
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25/03/2012 20:41:20

gimmick
gimmick
Posts: 179
" to me it's a little triumph!http://twitpic.com/7lmrd1 "

Nice result but how do you make an Ambient Occlusion map with those nice shadows, if it's a cube made with Sketchup?

Use of SketchUp then Blender, like Jamie?
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25/03/2012 21:38:12

DyllyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dylly
Posts: 555
Hi gimmick
My work flow has changed quite a bit since last year (cripes time flies when you are having fun)! I experimented with Blender in the beginning but the interface was way beyond me...confusing, annoying..but then it is free.

I now do the modelling in SketchUp because it just feels intuitive to use..it's more like drawing. Once I have my basic model created in SketchUp I then import it into 3ds Max. I find Max a lot more straight forward to use than Blender, with the majority of the functions self explanatory.

I now use max for creating the final model from SketchUp components, adding collisions, UVW unwrapping, creating the id and ao maps, smoothing, scaling, applying textures and finally exporting the finished .ase model.

Textures themselves are created with Gimp, although if I have a problem texture (ie it's awkward to get wood grain going in the correct direction, or the UV map is very complicated) I will import the model into Mudbox to get the fiddly bits done.

Although I have to admit that I'm starting to learn the basic's of modelling in 3ds Max and Maya...just to learn the software. It's something I've always wanted to be able to do since I first got into 3D art, and I'm hankering to have a go at character modelling!

Tim
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25/03/2012 22:03:14

gimmick
gimmick
Posts: 179
Ok thanks. I know SketchUp since 2010 and now I am currently exploring Muvizu.

I tried Blender in 2009 but this software is really not ergonomic for new users. I'll take a look at 3dsmax next month.
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