Posts Tagged ‘ac3d’

AC3D Plugin: Material by Crease Angle and Planar Map by Material

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Two new plugins today!

The first plugin, Set Material by Crease Angle, sets the materials of a model based on the crease angle of the mesh. For each selected area, the plugin creates a new color in the palette and “flood-fills” the area until the angle between the surfaces exceeds the crease angle of the mesh. The result is that contiguous areas are all set with the same palette material, and a new material is applied wherever a discontinuity occurs. This allows you to easily break a model into sections along its creases for easier texture mapping, or many other purposes.

The second plugin, Planar Map by Material, actually includes three new commands.

The first command is Fit UV Coordinates to Map. This command is essentially the same as the “max” button in the TCE, forcing all UV coordinates into the 0-1 range, but unlike “max” this scales the map proportionally instead of independently on each axis.

The second command is Adjust UVs for Bilinear Filter. This is useful for game developers. This command scales your texture coordinates by a ratio of 240/256. The purpose is to create a small seam along the edge of the texture map so that if your game is using mipmapping with a bilinear or trilinear filter, the texture won’t bleed into its neighbors in your texture cache nor will it bleed into itself if you haven’t clamped the edges.

The last command, Planar Map by Surface Material, is probably the most useful of the three. Planar Map by Surface Material applies a “best fit” planar projection to all surfaces grouped by material in the current selection. If you section your model by material, this will treat each material color as a contiguous group and apply whichever planar projection fits it best in the TCE. You’ll still need to do some manual adjustment after you map it this way–especially texture packing, as this leaves plenty of room between areas so the surfaces aren’t too difficult to select–but it can save a lot of time in laying down a base mapping before you manually refine each area.

More information about each plugin is available in the readme.

Download the Material by Crease Angle plugin. (Requires Windows XP, AC3D 6.2 or above.)

Download the Planar Map by Material plugin. (Requires Windows XP, AC3D 6.2 or above.)

Sculpted Prim Wine Glass

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

A wine glass is one of the first things most people make when they learn to use a 3D program. It’s fun and it’s easy.

Making a sculpted prim wine glass for Second Life is equally fun. In fact, it’s almost exactly the same except you need to UV map it before you upload it. A simple cylindrical map will do. Here’s a video to show you how using AC3D.

Wineglass Video
Click to download video

The step-by-step:

  1. Draw a polyline that will form the outer edge of your wineglass.
  2. (Optional) Use the spline tool to make your polyline into a smooth curve.
  3. Revolve the polyline around the Y axis 360 degrees. The more segments you use the smoother it will be, but the more polygons. You don’t need very many polygons, so don’t overdo it.
  4. Using the UV map tool, apply a cylindrical wrap around the Y axis.
  5. Export!


Here are the UV map settings I used.

When you import it into SL, be sure to set your mapping mode to cylindrical. If you don’t, the top and bottom of the glass will be solid instead of hollow.


Set the Stitching Type to Cylinder.

Download the model here.

AC3D Plugin: Poser Export

Monday, March 30th, 2009

This plugin exports AC3D models to Smith Micro’s Poser PZ3 format. It also generates a WaveFront OBJ file that Poser will recognize as “grouped” surfaces. This allows you to create custom characters and props for use in your Poser scenes with AC3D, and reduces the amount of time spent in the Setup Room in Poser grouping your surfaces.

Either the PZ3 or the OBJ can be used for importing a model into Poser.

The PZ3 is “pre-rigged” using the AC3D hierarchy as the skeleton and the AC3D object centres as the joint pivots. The PZ3 allows you to see working joints right away, but obviously the joints won’t be weighted as nicely as if you did it by hand. For this reason, I’d recommend starting with the OBJ file and building your skeleton in the Poser setup room instead unless your final output is a game engine or something else where Poser’s blend weights don’t matter. Like the Milkshape plugin, the Poser plugin supports null pivots. Any mesh in AC3D named “NULL_[whatever]” is treated as a null pivot so you can do “fancy” rigs if you need to. There are additional instructions in the readme.txt included with the plugin.

Download the plugin. (Requires Windows XP, AC3D 6.2 or above, Poser 6.0 or above.)

I’ve also built a sample file in case you need a working example of how to build your model.

Download the sample model.

In the sample, I’ve taken the perfume atomizer that comes in the AC3D stock model library. (You can load the original by clicking File > Library inside of AC3D and loading it from the samples folder.) I’ve re-rigged the atomizer so it can animate, then exported it using the Poser plugin. After import into Poser, I applied my materials, set the lights and tweaked the skeleton. All of the files are included so you can see each step.

  • atomizer-rigged.ac – the rigged version of the atomizer from the AC3D library.
  • antomizer-rigged.pz3 – the unedited poser file exported by the plugin (yes, I realized belatedly I spelled it wrong, but I didn’t want to fix all the file links, doh)
  • atomizer-final.pz3 – the final file in poser, with materials applied and joint limits, etc., set

If you’re into building Poser models in AC3D, I would also recommend Dennis’s Poser Morph Target Assistant. The morph target assistant, as the name implies, will allow you to add morph targets to your Poser figures.

Enjoy!

How to Make Two Shapes from One Prim

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Many times people ask me if it’s possible to create two disconnected shapes from one sculpted prim–without resorting to alpha maps. The answer is yes, you can! It can be a little tricky depending on the shape, but it absolutely can be done. Today I’ll show you how using the AC3D exporter.


Two disconnected shapes made with one sculpted prim.

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Crayons for the New Millennium

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Remember growing up with paper and crayons when you were a kid? Remember handing your doodles to your parents to hang on the refrigerator? Ah, fond memories. Kids and art may be timeless, but the methods sure have changed! A true child of the digital age, my little girl just made her first 3D model and asked me if I would post it on my blog. So here it is. :)

It’s a candlestick. Pretty cool, eh?