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Old 29th Mar 2016, 07:12 AM   #1
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Default LightWave - How to get started with Instancing?

I want to get started on LW instancing - I found a few advanced tutorials on YouTube, but nothing that was a lot of good for the basics.

Any pointers?
Nick
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 09:00 AM   #2
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This series should help, and to be honest it's as basic as it gets. Also the 2015 manual covers it pretty well, but you're on 11. as far as I remember?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwlV1D1wj6c

If you're really stuck I'll do a quick video how to set up something like what you may have in mind....do you just want a repeated building, a flock instance or spline instance hehe. My shadow pic (uploaded to March2016 RA is a basic flock instance for example).

Cheers, Rich.

BTW if you want a vid there'll be a day delay (youtubby upload takes ages here). I'd like to help but bear in mind I'm also up to my ears coding C++ for a game project atm
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 10:00 AM   #3
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honestly there isnt much to it, i dont remember ever looking up a tutorial of it myself most the Tools and things are quite self explanatory, if i were you id just start experiemnting and see what does what.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 10:01 AM   #4
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Real simple example Nick:-

Ground plane, 30 x 30 segments.

Load another object

Open properties for the groundplane, click the instance tab and click add instancer.

Click on add object in the window, and add the object. On the right I selected 'polygons' and checked 'max polygons'. You can select a surface of your object if desired only on 1 part (ie trees only on a grass surface of a bigger lanscape etc).

Hey presto an army of anime ! O/c if I load an MDD file and animate the original object they'll animate. Trick is to load 4 or 5 etc objects with the MDD frame offset slightly on each into the instancer.. This'll create an army of marching girlies in different parts of the cylcle.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 10:06 AM   #5
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Instancing is excellent for asteroids, too. Although randomization is the key there!
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 10:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overseer View Post
Instancing is excellent for asteroids, too. Although randomization is the key there!
Absolutely! Here I use a segmented circular disc for the asteroid instance. A few objects are loaded into the instancer with randomized scale and orientation.

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Old 30th Mar 2016, 06:35 AM   #7
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Thanks All, I've never even spotted it in a menu!

What I am looking to do is to be able to add high detail repeated elements for a mesh, so I don't hit polygon limits.
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 07:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Thanks All, I've never even spotted it in a menu!

What I am looking to do is to be able to add high detail repeated elements for a mesh, so I don't hit polygon limits.
polygon limits? is your system low on ram?
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 07:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
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polygon limits? is your system low on ram?
No, 32 Gb!

But I find it starts to get painful at about the 2.5 million polygon level.
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 07:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbase1 View Post
What I am looking to do is to be able to add high detail repeated elements for a mesh, so I don't hit polygon limits.
Useful in things like repeating City tiles, or ships with HD nurnies...
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 08:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackN View Post
Useful in things like repeating City tiles, or ships with HD nurnies...
Like this for example:
http://www.foundation3d.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=19998
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 10:34 AM   #12
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Okay for your project the basics would be like this Nick:-



I made a tube, say to represent the 'body' of your ship. Then I selected a few polys and made them a surface called 'Wings'.

I then loaded in a cuboid object to represent the fin things, added an instancer to the tube and set it up like in the pic. Very likely you'll need to fiddle with offsets etc to get the nurnies lined up. Once it's set it's done !

Obviously you do the same thing with other nurnies on the remaining faces, making a new surface each time. Make sure the original is behind the camera, as hiding it with dissolve etc won't work. You could make the wing object tiny, hide it inside the tube, and then use the scale/offset parameters in the instancer !! Think outside/inside the box !!!

Hope this helps,

Cheers!
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 01:01 PM   #13
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Thanks that ooks like what I need!
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 01:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbase1 View Post
Thanks that ooks like what I need!
y/w
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 01:08 AM   #15
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This is rather easy!

Forst ever instancing image:
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 11:30 AM   #16
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That's cool...

Thinking about how to use the Instancing for terrain like the moon and stuff... Able to get higher resolution with the right set up, without the poly count...



I haz Fleet Capabilities now!
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 12:46 PM   #17
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Yeah, I was thinking about that, overlaying a bunch of craters around a sphere...
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 02:15 PM   #18
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Yeah, I was thinking about that, overlaying a bunch of craters around a sphere...
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 03:29 PM   #19
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That's what I usually do with asteroids. You create a simple shape, and then use the geometry deform (object properties) with some procedural textures to create a displacement and more detail. All you have to do is raise the display and render subpatch level in Layout to achieve more detail. That will increase render time, but during the creation process you don't have a huge poly count at all.

Here's a nice example:

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Old 31st Mar 2016, 05:54 PM   #20
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MoCap + Flocking + Instancing =

Blame Nick...

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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 07:49 AM   #21
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OK, so what am I doing wrong here?

I instanced a cooling unit for a current project. It appeared away from the cloned element.
I could not work out how to move the ionstanced array, so I slid everything else into place around it.

(top of attached image)

When I advanced the scene the instanced array slid around the scene with the spaceing and angles changing!

So in the first frame I could move the original without the arrap moving but in subsequent frams, it seems to have influenced it - in a way I don't understand!

What I am trying to do is replace a row of 25 copies done in modeller with a row of 25 instances, in the same oplace in the object heirarchy. But the array doesn't seem to have the usual parenting type options.
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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 08:26 AM   #22
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Downbeats go like this:-

Load main object,ship to be moved.
Load the object to be instanced.
Move object to be instanced behind where the camera will be for anim (out of view)
Parent instanced object to ship, with parent in place checked.
Add instancer to ship, load the instance object.
Make sure 'L' is in the properties (LOCAL)
On the right, select polygons as the type.
Check 'max polygons'
Select the Surface name on the ship oject where the instances will appear.
Move down to the rotation tab, select 'Edge Aligned' , mode 'Uniform'.
To the left in the offset tab,use mode 'Uniform' and slide the instances into position - use view '4' perspective view zoomed out at first to see where you're moving the instances is helpful, zoom in in the other views to get exact alignment afterwards is my tip here.
IF you need to rotate the instance as well for alignment, of course use 'Uniform' for that too - I suspect you'll need 2 instances & surfaces or more to achieve what you're doing here. Or....

If the instances are 90 degrees rotated relative to each other, I'd load the two objects set up as 1 object, then parent that to the ship and instance it.

Now when you move, rotate main ship all is good.

I just did this in 2 mins with the 1st example I gave above.

Cheers, Rich.
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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 08:52 AM   #23
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Actually, if this were my project, I'd use a single poly chain running down the centre of the ship's body, and use its 'points' for the instances
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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 11:35 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Actually, if this were my project, I'd use a single poly chain running down the centre of the ship's body, and use its 'points' for the instances
Does this keep the instance stuck to the chain so I can parent them etc?
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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 01:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Does this keep the instance stuck to the chain so I can parent them etc?
Yeah, it's just simpler than selecting faces in modeler. Place the chain down the centreline of the ship. Parent the chain to the model so, starship > chain > fin things. Then just add an instancer to the chain object and use points instead of surface. Alignment likely not edges, but figuring that out is part of the learning process hehe.

Just make sure the you've the correct number of points, spaced correctly along the chain
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