MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby Madcat221 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:35 am

All right, binormals and tangents. :D

How does one make use of this new shader system? Is it a modifier that I'm missing when I look through the list?
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby tazpn » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:46 am

The new Shader shows up in the Materials dialog in the Standard Materials dropdown with Blinn, Strauss, Metal .... Its name is Niftools Shader. Its picked automatically used on import.

The dialog format is copied from the Civ4/Gamebryo shader which gives access to Alpha properties and custom maps. I now have flexibility in allowing users to select maps explicitly to map for export. The shader is a variant of the Strauss shader since its easier and Blinn was giving me trouble. It really only implements the Diffuse map at the moment but allows you to select the other maps for export. If I ever have time I will expand it to do normal maps and then perhaps the others but I'm way out of my league so no promises.

===
Regarding nifty, it looks like its purpose is to help auto-rig Dismemberment based on Bone names not redo the skin partitions. I could not make it work so I must be missing something. It does indeed look nifty as a starting point though you have to supply it with maps so it really only works well with standard bipeds. (The Fly and Brahmin are not going to work particularly well with it unless you make a new map file for it.).
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby Madcat221 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:13 am

Okay, I'm trying to export a gun mesh with this latest plugin, and when I get it all set up, it's invisible in-game. The other components of the mesh I spliced from vanilla NIFs are visible (trigger, battery magazine), but not mine. In NIFSkope, I've tried changing the Alpha value in the material (which was curiously not 1 at export), I've tried matching the shader flags to a similar Vanilla gun mesh, and I've made sure that the texture paths checked out.

EDIT: Okay, I think I got it sorted... Dunno what its deal was.
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby Madcat221 » Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:56 am

Mmkay, bug found:

Smoothing groups across UVW seams aren't being smoothed. I had three cases on my pulse pistol model until I corrected the most conspicuous one with some UVW tweaking. It was right there in front of the Player at the back end of the gun.

However, it crops up at other locales. A UVW seam between faces that should otherwise be in the same smoothing group aren't remaining smoothed together.

Some images to show

Image
This one has a longer such seam, but it's not as obvious. It starts at the little back-end vent, touches one of the wire clips, and ends at the insulator between the center portion and the business end.

Image
This one is very short in length, but is more conspicuous. It's straight in the center of the screen along the edge of the electrode platter.
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby tazpn » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:29 am

You may need to put and Edit Normals modifier on top of the Edit UVW modifier or something. We always use those directly before trying to infer values from other sources.

---

Good news on the skin partition front. I've sorted out the problems and can now fully export the brahmin without issues and have animation work in the GECK. I'm sure there is going to be a bug that I've not fully tested for but this is good news I suppose. I'm going to do some full import/export cycles to verify and then release the development builds of nifskope and max with the fixes.

Here are the recommended Export Settings for Dismemberment to work properly.
http://niftools.sourceforge.net/wiki/3d ... ent#Export
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby Axel » Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:50 pm

Great! Now we have NifTools shader in Max materials editor!

I have performed some very fast testing (Max2009/32, mainly for MW):

Bump Map (the upper one, I have two Bump slots in the shader) adds Gloss
Gloss Map adds Decal 0 map.
Glow Map adds Bump map.

Interestingly, similar “mismatch” appears also when I export for Oblivion.

I haven’t tested other not MW related maps.

So, far environment/reflection mapping (NiTextureEffect branch) is not working for me either with omni light setting, or via material editor slots setting.

So far I was not able to export NiTriShapeData nodes with Num UV Sets more than 1.

Thank you so much!

:)
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby tazpn » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:31 pm

Thanks. Looks like legacy code from the Civ4 Shader and remapping textures.

A build with multiple UVs has not been built, just committed to source for steve. My testing was importing and reexporting nifs with multiple channels presumably you need to use the unwrapuvw. I'm not sure how environment/reflection mapping is supposed to work in general nor how the NiTextureEffect branch is supposed to work.
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby sacarrow » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:47 pm

I have the fixes and will do a very simple test with a cube; thanks tazpn! I've already noticed the map mixup issue. Another thing I'll check is the discovery I made that getNumMaps() in essence returns the highest channel supported; channels can be skipped. Also support for channel zero (vertex colors) adds to that number. Both factors together may complicate mapping channels to texture maps. I can send a build to anyone interested, but only for Max 8 or 9.

I'll let you know,
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby tazpn » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:03 pm

I'm ignoring vertex colors for now since that only complicates things. Not sure why you would use it anyway. If explicit channels should work with UnwrapUVW.

The code could use another indirection map for max to nif channels but I'll leave that to Steve to fix I guess. For now people can pack their own UV Channels.
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby tazpn » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:01 am

Put up a new builds with shader working better on export. Import still needs another pass to clean up the civ4 vs niftools shader differences.
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby sacarrow » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:24 am

For the numbers, it's just that a mesh using maps 0, 1, 2 or maps 0 & 2 or maps 1, 2, 3 (I think) all end up with getNumMaps() = 3. I'll verify that though. And I'll look at the minor nits, since you've got the framework up. :) Since I know eff-all about shaders, you can have that. :D I'll may add the channel mapping to the mesh; depends on the lifetime necessary.

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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby Madcat221 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:11 am

tazpn wrote:You may need to put and Edit Normals modifier on top of the Edit UVW modifier or something. We always use those directly before trying to infer values from other sources.

---

Good news on the skin partition front. I've sorted out the problems and can now fully export the brahmin without issues and have animation work in the GECK. I'm sure there is going to be a bug that I've not fully tested for but this is good news I suppose. I'm going to do some full import/export cycles to verify and then release the development builds of nifskope and max with the fixes.

Here are the recommended Export Settings for Dismemberment to work properly.
http://niftools.sourceforge.net/wiki/3d ... ent#Export


Could that dismemberment stuff be used for culling the NPC body meshes down to just a portion to remove unneded geometry? I have a bared-midriff female leather armor mesh that I've kludged by using alpha transparencies in the leather texture and the skin texture, but would like a more mesh-based solution since it right now relies on the skin alpha in order to avoid ucky clipping.

Gonna try that Edit Normals mod and see what it spits out as well.

EDIT: The Edit Normals mod being placed

Also, I usually re-convert a poly a few times while making a UVW map to burn the UVW placement in. The UVW modifiers seem really touchy to any changes to the base editable poly and will irrevocably screw up, unless I reconvert to absorb the UVW mod when I want to make a change to geometry.
Last edited by Madcat221 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby tazpn » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:21 am

Not sure I completely follow what you want for the dismemberment. You could use the Edit Mesh modifier or even use go in and edit the mesh normally if you want to remove faces from an Editable Mesh in the Edit Geometry rollup. Edit Mesh modifier doesn't permanently remove vertices where Editable Mesh changes would. I've had problems with Skin when doing these kinds of edits but they do actually keep all of the existing vertex weights even if it may not seem like it.
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby Madcat221 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:26 am

tazpn wrote:Not sure I completely follow what you want for the dismemberment. You could use the Edit Mesh modifier or even use go in and edit the mesh normally if you want to remove faces from an Editable Mesh in the Edit Geometry rollup. Edit Mesh modifier doesn't permanently remove vertices where Editable Mesh changes would. I've had problems with Skin when doing these kinds of edits but they do actually keep all of the existing vertex weights even if it may not seem like it.


I wish to remove all but the tummy and lower back of the female body mesh, geometry-wise. Can I do that on the Editable Mesh level and have the Skin remain intact, and only have to allocate the belly portion to the Torso section when I put the BSDismemberSkinInstance mod on, and only have to concern myself about the right export settings?

This is what I am attempting to do, but by geometry culling, instead of alpha transparencies:

Image

The alpha on the leather isn't an issue, because it's not a major texture used in so many other meshes in the game. I just need a torso section. I can stick the arm and neck mesh pieces back in from Vanilla (I had to remove them because I got Z-fighting even though the full body mesh was alpha'd into invisibility).

EDIT: Okay, it is doing what I intended to do rigging-wise, but I seem to have some sort of material issue or something going on here...

Image]

It displays the texture properly in NIFSkope, so it's not a UVW issue. I've matched the NiMaterialProperty and BSShader

But here's the kicker... It only does this in interior cells. Outside, it's fine.

Image

The normal map works when it's acting flat-colored and glowey too, just no diffuse, and that weird glow.
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Re: MaxTools 3.2 Prerelease Thread

Postby tazpn » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:57 am

Could be the Shader Flags on the per pixel shader as we dont fully understand them yet. And I'm not sure that the BSShaderTextureSet maps are what we think they are either as I've seen several examples that do not conform to my expectations.
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