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Old 12th Aug 2008, 06:30 PM   #1
Flashfire
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Default LightWave - FF TUTORIAL - Extruding Edges Along a Curve (Free Plugin!)

So I asked the admins to delete the previous tutorial as it was essentially rendered useless by two lscripts I wrote to do at the click of one button, what was taking a few clicks by my other method.

After it was brought to my attention that edges were really nothing more than 2 point polys, I set out to construct a plugin that would do the job for me without all the hassle.

There are a couple of things you NEED to pay attention to to make this work 100%. They are listed below and are non-negociable due to the limitations of LScript.

1. For this to work, your object must be polygon based and not SubDs.
2. You cannot extrude edges, as they are considered non-geometry by LScript.
3. You must be in point mode when you execute the plugin.
4. As with the native Rail Extrude, the curve(s) must be in the BG Layer.

So heres what you do. First, download the zip file here -> FF_ExtrudeEdges.zip
Next, unzip to your plugins folder and add them as buttons in Modeler.

There are two scripts. FF-EE and FF-EEQ. FF-EE is the main optionable script and FF-EEQ is a quick version that uses 6 oriented length segments and is not alterable.

Got it? Cool...

---> TUTORIAL BEGINS <---

Single Edge, Single Curve

We'll first look at it simply, with a single edge and a single curve. As I said before, because of the limitations, you must be in point mode when executing the plugin. That being said, you can always select your edge(s) in Edge Mode, and then simply use the Select Points tool to convert the selection of those edges to their respective points.

Below, you will see a single 4 point plane with a curve in the BG layer. I have selected the points that make up the single edge I want to extrude and activated the tool. I prefer to manually set my extreude length, so I use lengths with 12 lengths.

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Clicking okay extrudes the edge along the path of the curve. The more segments you use, the smoother the extrusion.

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And just to illulstrate that it converts to SubDs nicely...

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Single Edge, Dual Curves

Now I'll show it in action with one edge and two curves. As before, you can see the points that make up the edge selected and the curves in the BG layer. The tool is activated using the same parameters as the last example.

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Again, clicking okay presents you with the extruded edges, following the curves.

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And again, showing it in SubDs...

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Dual Edges, Three Curves

Now we'll get a little more complex. In this example I've divided the plane to give me two edges to play with as well as a thrid curve. There is a strict rule that must be followed if you plan to use more than two curves however... you must build them in a specific order, as they will have a skinning order. Build from the bottom up. Trail and error will show you what you need to do if that explanation doesn't do it...

Again, the selected points for the two edges, and the three curves in the BG layer. Tool is activated as usual.

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Clicking okay gives us a new shape to play with...

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And the SubD version...

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Dual Edge, Single Curve

As with the original tutorial, I will use the plugin on a real-world application. In the following, I have two image planes set up in Modeler to patch a head model. You can see the plane I've made, with the edge's points selected. The curve, as usual, resides in the BG layer. Tool is activated with 6 oriented segments. The less you use in a case like this, the better. I could have simply used the EEQ (Quick EE), but you wouldnt have seen the interface in all its glory (lol).

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The results of the curve extrude...

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And then point-tweaked to match image planes...

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---> TUTORIAL ENDS <---

There you have it. A new toy to play with, and all of the bases covered on how to use it. Enjoy!

A special thanks to Jim on Spinquad for the inspiration!
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 06:59 AM   #2
Flashfire
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To go hand in hand with the tutorial, I thought I'd make a quick video to show where and how this method of modeling would be used. In the video, I use the method to patch the jaw area of a creature head in conjunction with extending edges to create the depth of the lower lip. I should have done the whole head with it, but it was 2:00am and I was tired beyond belief...

Anyways, I hope this helps to illustrate things a bit... one thing to be aware of though; the technique is much faster than I show it, as I do a lot of rotations to show the curvature of the results extrusion, and I illustrate why subds should not be used for the operation.

XVid 640x480 12.5 megs
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File Type: avi patch.avi (12.05 MB, 1023 views)
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 07:21 AM   #3
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Looks like a nice plugin.

Very cool demo video as well.
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 12:28 PM   #4
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fantastic work joe. thx a tonne!!
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 05:23 PM   #5
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Hey Cool! This looks to be a very useful plug-in!
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 07:25 PM   #6
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You're welcome guys... enjoy. Let us know if you use the technique and how it assisted you.
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Old 16th Aug 2008, 12:38 AM   #7
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Thanks for the tut and plug in. Found it very useful.

Appreciate the video short add on.
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Old 21st Aug 2010, 05:41 AM   #8
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This video works off of the model created in the first video as well. It covers the principles of adding the needed geometry to a subdivision surface object when extruding areas and shows how to minimize the added geometry while keeping all of the polygons as quads. The source model (lwo) is also available for download.
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