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Surfactions DLX 2

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Here's a another cow... Ugly colors today don't you think!

*
Thanks to all the kind members of Lightwave mailing list, who shared their wisdom and helped me make this work!

- Eki

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A REALLY QUICK START MANUAL:

Create "Surfactions_DLX" subfolder in your "C:/Newtek" folder.
Unzip the Surfactions_DLX_2.zip file there.
Load all the actions from Newtek/Surfactions_DLX folder to Photoshop.

Load your model in modeler and run Surf_Prep_DLX_2.ls
Change your content directory to C:\Newtek\Surfactions_DLX, open and render Prepare_DLX_2.lws
Run Surfactions DLX 2 actions folder in Photoshop
Load Final_DLX_2.lws

Press F9

*************************************************************************************************
 
 

A MORE DETAILED MANUAL:
 
 

Ok, here we go again |:|^}


What's new?
About...
Installation
Preparing your model
Rendering reference images
And now for some action!
Grande finale
User Controls
 

What's new?

*  The actions now use a pseudo UV/Cubic mapping.
*  Preparing the model is automated to one LScript.
*  Added a lot of user controls in the actions.
*  Automatic map sizing. (Kinda...)

New actions in Surfactions

Titanic hull actions

Lens flare / glow post production actions

Buggyfixes
 
 


What's new?
About...
Installation
Preparing your model
Rendering reference images
And now for some action!
Grande finale
User Controls
 

About...
 

These should work in Intel LW5.6 & photoshop 5.0

Earlier versions & other platforms haven't been tested, but you can allways try.
(I had an e-mail from an user stating "no go" with Photoshop 4.)

The concept of Surfactions DLX_2 (Deluxe too, man ;^} is to first divide your object by mapping axis,
render a series of reference images of it in Lightwave and then automatically create random
Space / Machinery style surface maps using your model's contours in Photoshop.

Last step is to go back to layout and get the mapping info from a reference object. Thats it, folks.

*Note: Surfactions_DLX_2.zip also includes all of the original SpaceNurnies_DLX stuff & Surfactions actions!*




What's new?
About...
Installation
Preparing your model
Rendering reference images
And now for some action!
Grande finale
User Controls
 

1. Installation
 
 

It's important to follow these instructions step by step in order to make this work!
Doublecheck spelling!

If you have your lightwave installed in another drive or directory,
please create "Newtek" directory in your C: root.

Start by creating a "Surfactions_DLX" subfolder in your "C:/Newtek" folder.

Unzip the Surfactions_DLX_2.zip file there. If you didn't and you wonder why it doesn't work,
RTFM, and copy the unzipped files to right locations!

If you have the earlier versions installed please just accept overwrite when prompted, there
are some fixes and additions made in the other actions too.

Unzipping Surfactions_DLX_2.zip should automatically create the necessary subfolders,
and copy the files to right logations.



If that for some reason didn't happen:

 Create subfolders:

                                                           Images
                                                           Scenes
                                                           Objects
                                                           Surfaces

Move *.lwo files to the objects directory.
Move *.lws to the scenes directory.
Move *.srf to the surfaces directory
Move *.iff to Images. (There's nothing wrong with the images, they really are that small)
Leave the other files where they are.


1b

Launch Photoshop

If you have it already open close all the image files.

Load all the actions (*.atn) from Newtek/Surfactions_DLX folder

(Actions Palette / Load Actions)
 
 

You're all set up.
 


What's new?
About...
Installation
Preparing your model
Rendering reference images
And now for some action!
Grande finale
User Controls
 

2. Preparing your model
 
 

First make a safety copy of your model :-)

Load your model in modeler.

Run Surf_Prep_DLX_2.ls LScipt (It's found in the Surfactions_DLX root)

You're done.



What did the script do?

1. It rescaled your model so that it's dimensions will not exceed 10m in any axis, and
 if your object was small it enlarged it to fit the 10m. bounding box.
 This is in order to make sure that the surfaces cover your model everywhere.
 The mapping parameters also require this.

2. It centered your object.

3. It examined your object, selected and renamed the polygons according to surface normals, T
 and then loaded surface parameters from a reference object.

4. It saved your object as Surf_Object_DLX_2.lwo



What's new?
About...
Installation
Preparing your model
Rendering reference images
And now for some action!
Grande finale
User Controls
 

3. Rendering reference images
 
 

Change your content directory to C:\Newtek\Surfactions_DLX

Open Prepare_DLX_2.lws

Activate Save Images tab

Press F10



Check that your image name is Surf, Naming convention Name0001.XXX and image format is tga 32 bit.

You can change the render resolution if you wish, but keep it square.

Small resolution = Bigger scale texture

1000X1000 pixels is good ;-) It will eat up 100Mb of ram in the surfacemaps though... There will
be amazing 30 of them created in the process!


What's new?
About...
Installation
Preparing your model
Rendering reference images
And now for some action!
Grande finale
User Controls
 

4. Now for some Action
 
 

Go back to Photoshop

Click on SpaceNurnies_DLX_2 actions folder and press play
 

Wait.

If you have a slow machine, wait some more. Wait.

Wait.

If you are asked anything during the actions are running, just press enter.

When nothing seems to happen, and there are no open images, you are done.

You can now leave Photoshop. (Unless you want to tinker with options...)
 



The action automatically saves the necessary (30) maps in the Surfactions_DLX/Images folder,
but you can retouch the layers and save copies over them. Just load the saved *.PSD or *.IFF files.
Names should be self-explanatory. Images used in the surface maps are in *.IFF format.

Psd's are layered files, saved for your convinience.

There are some alpha channels to help you tinker with selections.

If all the options are not used there will be some full black maps.
You may wish to delete these unnecessary maps from your surface when you get to layout.

You can also save memory if you clone the surfaces where there's symmetry
(eg. car's left/right surface can usually be the same...)



What's new?
About...
Installation
Preparing your model
Rendering reference images
And now for some action!
Grande finale
User Controls
 

5.Grande finale
 
 

Back to Layout.

Load scene Final_DLX_2.lws

Press F9

Tadaa!

That's That!
 

Mooh!


What's new?
About...
Installation
Preparing your model
Rendering reference images
And now for some action!
Grande finale
User Controls
 

Ok, the promised User Controll...

First of all you can choose your surface's colouring. Use Photoshop's FG & BG colors for that.
The texture colors will be mixtures of these (and grayscale).

The actions use a modular structure, meaning that the actions are divided to smaller tasks, unlike
the previous version.

There are the following action folders related to DLX 2:

Surfactions 2
Optional stuff
Random plates
Apply Random plates
Staples
Lights On

************************
I'll Explain a bit more:

Surfactions 2 actions folder's actions call other actions and open, prepare and save images.
There is no user input needed. Advanced users can change the source and result image filenames there.

*****If you are not ABSOLUTELY sure you know what you are doing,
don't alter any other settings than the ones specified below******
 

Optional stuff folder is the place to quickly turn options on and off.
Just enable or disable the functions you need.
(eg. checking "weather diffuse" action will generate grit to your surface's diffuse layer.)

************************

There are user definable parameters in

Random Plates folder:

Turn hull plate versions on or off. Now available:
 Small Plates
 Big Plates
 Small Alien Plates
 Big Alien Plates.


Staples folder:

 Set staple spacing (Open the action, locate & modify patchwork filter) #a tough one#
 No, rivets (Bigger)
 Bigger
 Bigger!!! (Quite self-explanatory...)
 No, bolts it is... (Adds a circle around the dot in the bump map)
 Staples bend plates? (Adds a dent in plate where there are staples)


Lights On:

 Big Lights
 Small Light arrays (self explanatory again i guess...)


There's also a create template for DLX2 action in the Surfactions folder.
Just follow the instructions.
 

If you want to check out how the actions are compiled check the value tabs on the actions.

If you don't like the result run actions again. The output varies randomly!
 


What's new?
About...
Installation
Preparing your model
Rendering reference images
And now for some action!
Grande finale
User Controls
 
 

** If you use these at your projects i would love to see some renderings ***
I'm allso interested on any comments on these & on the site!

Email me erkki.halkka@kolumbus.fi

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