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#1 Chris Ollis

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:12 AM


Hi there,

I'm a little concerned about some of the models being made for Moviestorm with Sketchup and the tendency for them to have excessive poly counts.
I'm not a Sketchup user so am unsure of the facts, but I've gathered a few tutorials and bits of info to help keep these numbers down.

First of all what looks like a useful and logical tutorial on polygon reduction
http://members.home....chup_tut00.html

Secondly Google offering official tips on the same problem
http://sketchup.goog...mp;answer=41100

and another one for luck
http://www.ataricomm....php?p=11340037

I'm hoping to get a polygon counter put in to Modders Workshop so that when you import a Sketchup mesh you can see how many polys are imported and then compare that to our in house assets.


Feel free to add to this thread with more Sketchup tutorials and tips

Chris Ollis
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#2 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 12:15 PM

I just found a geat tutorial on Sketchup about how to make sky domes and they are low poly and play very hi res images and seamless textures.

http://sketchup.goog...amp;prevstart=0


Above is the link for it. It was not too difficult to learn either. Actually Movietorm can use higher poly mods than other programs like Iclone.

#3 Moviestorm

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE (lucindamc123 @ Apr 27 2010, 12:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Movietorm can use higher poly mods than other programs like Iclone.


Moviestorm can handle fairly high poly mods, but this will cause it to run more slowly, especially if you don't have a powerful computer, or if you have a lot of things on the set. When making mods, it's always a good idea to keep the poly count in mind and avoid unnecessary detail, especially on parts of the model that won't appear on screen, will appear out of focus, or in a long shot. You'll get much better performance from Moviestorm, and the audience won't know the difference.

It's usually best to save the detail for characters, as that's what the audience will be paying most attention to, and significant props that you're going to show in close-up. Unnecessary detail on the set will be lost when you render out your final movie anyway.

Some guidelines on the model sizes we use:

Example assets (Polycount in tris):
Character costume 5000
Character Head 2000
Character hair 1000
Table 200
Chair (curved back) 500
Vase (curved) 300
Cushion 100
Car (background) 1000

That should give you an idea of how complex to make your models.
The Moviestorm Team

#4 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:30 PM

I can make an entire city in Moviestorm with lots of hi res skyscrapers, cars moving, people on the set with no slow ups at all. I use XP operating system. But the same set in Iclone (since I duplicate all my props in Iclone that i make for Moviestorm) will work but it renders very slowly and you can't have as many puppets on the set. I have a three year old Delll computer with a Geforce 9500 graphics card and 2 terabytes of hard drive space. This computer cost under $700 and today it would be even less expensive.

#5 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:30 PM

I can make an entire city in Moviestorm with lots of hi res skyscrapers, cars moving, people on the set with no slow ups at all. I use XP operating system. But the same set in Iclone (since I duplicate all my props in Iclone that i make for Moviestorm) will work but it renders very slowly and you can't have as many puppets on the set. I have a three year old Delll computer with a Geforce 9500 graphics card and 2 terabytes of hard drive space. This computer cost under $700 and today it would be even less expensive.

#6 primaveranz

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:44 PM

Thanks Chris, those links, (especially the first one) are gold dust!

"If we only use 1/3 of our brain, what's the other 1/3 for?"


#7 celestina

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 07:37 PM

Thanks so much for this Chris. I have been making some more models and I have only just increased my circles to 24 from 12... I will reduce them back down to 12 again, thank you smile.gif

This link will take you there: Celestina's Texture Collections ... COUNTRY COLLECTION Ready Now!

#8 DCTatner

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:32 PM

iClone will actually handle models with up to 30,000 poly count. However, I've never come close to that, even with complex models. As Chris mentioned, and the Eiffel Tower tutorial demonstrated, the complexity should not go into the shape, but into the texture. Consider that model... if every girder in the tower were actually modeled, each girder would have about 12 polygons (3-sided). You'd end up with more than 10,000 polys in no time. But- make it solid... and use transparencies in your textures... you end up with a complex structure with only around 2k poly or less. I recently made a factory in sketchup that featured railings along a catwalk. One railing equaled 10 polygons, because I used a transparent texture. If I would have modeled it instead, each railing would have contained about 800 polygons.

#9 MikeLyons

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 09:34 PM

Here's something I would like to request of the MS developers...

First the background...

The other night I was trying to import a Sketchup model into the Modders Workshop, and it kept causing MovieStorm to suddenly disappear when I clicked the Next button.

I was sure I was using a Sketchup 6 model, as I had saved the model specifically for the purposes of import into MoveStorm.

After several failed attempts, I decided to load the model back into MovieStorm and sure enough there was no warning about using a version 6 model -- so this time I made sure I saved it as a Sketchup 6 format model and this time it successfully imported.

So my request for the developers is really two-part:

1. Short Term. Could you please more gracefully handle an incorrect Sketchup version file rather than disappearing? A warning dialog, perhaps, and then not crash?

2. Longer term. How about support for versions of Sketchup later than 6?

Thanks for your time (and for a fun product).

Mike

#10 kv

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:02 PM

QUOTE (MikeLyons @ May 17 2010, 09:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
After several failed attempts, I decided to load the model back into MovieStorm and sure enough there was no warning about using a version 6 model
Mike


Actually it does say "Import Sketchup 6 model" wink.gif

But yeah it would be nice to see an error warning if you accidentally import the wrong version, even better if modshop could start accepting later than sketchup 6 models without worrying about setting them that way on exporting smile.gif

#11 MikeLyons

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:21 PM

QUOTE (kv @ May 17 2010, 10:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Actually it does say "Import Sketchup 6 model" wink.gif

But yeah it would be nice to see an error warning if you accidentally import the wrong version, even better if modshop could start accepting later than sketchup 6 models without worrying about setting them that way on exporting smile.gif


Exactly the point. I had thought I had saved my Sketchup model as a version 6 model... I am in the habit of developing my models using the default version 7 format and then when I am ready to bring them into MS I save a copy of the model, selecting Sketchup 6 as the Save As option, and add v6 to the file name, as in:

DigitalRecorder.skp <-- original v7 version
DigitalRecorder v6.skp <-- for MovieStorm

Mike


#12 primaveranz

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:26 PM

QUOTE (MikeLyons @ May 18 2010, 09:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Exactly the point. I had thought I had saved my Sketchup model as a version 6 model... I am in the habit of developing my models using the default version 7 format and then when I am ready to bring them into MS I save a copy of the model, selecting Sketchup 6 as the Save As option, and add v6 to the file name, as in:

DigitalRecorder.skp <-- original v7 version
DigitalRecorder v6.skp <-- for MovieStorm

Mike

That's the same as I do, however I often get caught out as I do the "Save As" into V6 then make a tiny (perhaps inadvertent) change and when I close the file I get asked "do you want to save changes" and automatically click "Yes" but of course SketchUp does a Save into V7, so I have a file with a V6 suffix but actually it is V7. It is one of those "Bummer" moments when your MW blows up and you realise you just did it again wink.gif

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#13 roguevirus

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 01:36 AM

QUOTE (Chris Ollis @ Apr 27 2010, 11:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi there,

I'm a little concerned about some of the models being made for Moviestorm with Sketchup and the tendency for them to have excessive poly counts.
I'm not a Sketchup user so am unsure of the facts, but I've gathered a few tutorials and bits of info to help keep these numbers down.


How concerned ? worried enough to provided a 3ds max import so we cud produce low poly count models directly....and you cud even give tutorials as you do use that program and know how it works...wink wink....you know i can't help myself ;P

just seems odd giving us a convertor that is not used by any of the MS staff as u all model in MAx....are we ever gonna get a nice set of tools like Iclone now the business model has changed .....iclone 3dmax intergrates directly with iclone photoshop etc etc the list is endless.

If iclone can allow this sort of freedom on a commercial business model why not moviestorm? The price of Iclone and Moviestorm are now very very comparable.

?

#14 Chris Ollis

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:46 AM

QUOTE (roguevirus @ May 18 2010, 01:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How concerned ? worried enough to provided a 3ds max import so we cud produce low poly count models directly....and you cud even give tutorials as you do use that program and know how it works...wink wink....you know i can't help myself ;P

just seems odd giving us a convertor that is not used by any of the MS staff as u all model in MAx....are we ever gonna get a nice set of tools like Iclone now the business model has changed .....iclone 3dmax intergrates directly with iclone photoshop etc etc the list is endless.

If iclone can allow this sort of freedom on a commercial business model why not moviestorm? The price of Iclone and Moviestorm are now very very comparable.

?

Worried enough to have got a polycounter put in to the next update for the Modders Workshop.

Sketchup is a free or inexpensive tool that a lot of users are likely to have access to, plus it has direct connection to Google warehouse. MAX is £3000 and the users who have bought a copy already import assets the same way we do, there is no MAX importer in house, so we won't be making one for out of house.

I would agree that we are comparable to iClone. Our product is incredibly cheap compared to iClones.
$59.99 for 43 animations?! $3 for a single mushroom prop?! $30 for a load of flat textures off the 3DTotal cds? crazy stuff.
Chris Ollis
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Plus Minor Web Celebrity, Viral Guru, Advertising storyboarder, Toy designer, BBC and Channel4 comedy writer/animator :D

#15 roguevirus

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:51 PM

QUOTE (Chris Ollis @ May 18 2010, 08:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Worried enough to have got a polycounter put in to the next update for the Modders Workshop.

Sketchup is a free or inexpensive tool that a lot of users are likely to have access to, plus it has direct connection to Google warehouse. MAX is £3000 and the users who have bought a copy already import assets the same way we do, there is no MAX importer in house, so we won't be making one for out of house.

I would agree that we are comparable to iClone. Our product is incredibly cheap compared to iClones.
$59.99 for 43 animations?! $3 for a single mushroom prop?! $30 for a load of flat textures off the 3DTotal cds? crazy stuff.


yep ofc your right on so many points sketchup is free and it is important to keep the costs and acessibility to everyone involved down ....so maybe "Gimp" integration instead of "photoshop" and maybe even "Blender" intergration (which i know reacher has done alot of work on but i would be nice if we had and oficial MS version ) both are established freeware open source progs .....and MS cud make an extra revenue stream from an "Advanced modders subscription" of an extra couple of $ etc a month smile.gif for people waning to use these features...i know for 1 i'd be signing up straight away to play even though i've neva used "blender"

any hope of this maybe in the future chris ? and thanks for the usual well balanced reply biggrin.gif

and just to any1 who doesn't know me from old ...i want to say i fully support chris and all the MS staff who have provided a great intuitive interface and production workflow that has novices producing movies in minutes and as we all know some stunning films in all genres (expect maybe kung fu ....hmmm kung fu vampires) by more seasoned users. And my questions and gripes are only aimed at improving MS .

#16 Chris Ollis

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:12 AM

Sketchup UVs

It would seem that Sketchup has some issues with its UV (texture coordinate) exporting, which is causing trouble for people wanting to make movie screens. The issue as I see it (in versions up to Sketchup 7) is that Sketchup projects its UVs in some kind of world space as oposed to local mesh coordinates. So if you make a small flat square it will have different UVs to a large flat square.

Sketchup_UVs2.jpg shows two such flat planes imported from Sketchup and the differences in their UVs. When what they should have (in most 3d apps opinion) is a simple object coordinate system from 0,0 to 1,1.

Sketchup_UVs1.jpg shows an imported curved screen mesh and it's UV coordinates. While it is closer to the correct 0-1 UV coordinate that a video would appear on, it is still suffering from a missing top and overlapping right side.
The streaking effect that people have described I assume is due to Sketchup breaking the object in to separate faces (green lines you can see in the image show where the geometry is not properly attached) which when combined with front and back facing geometry re-welds in Moviestorm to produce half and half mirroring textures.

I can't seem to find any export or UV options in Sketchup (but I've only been using it for about 10 minutes so forgive me if I'm wrong) so I'm not sure what can actually be done about this in simple terms. I would say that learning Blender is your best bet for getting video screens made.

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Chris Ollis
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#17 Ben_S

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:40 AM

When 1.3.1 arrives, the vertex and face counts will be displayed on the Descriptor panel, as in the screenshot.

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#18 lucindamc123

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:13 PM

Well I have Sketchup 7 pro and your pictures of the UV is exactly how a video looks on a Sketchup imported video screen in Moviestorm. But since I have pro, I can also export it as a 3ds model. I wonder if that will work. I will try it and see as my copy of 3ds Max is not working correctly right now.

#19 Chris Ollis

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:02 PM

QUOTE (lucindamc123 @ May 19 2010, 07:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well I have Sketchup 7 pro and your pictures of the UV is exactly how a video looks on a Sketchup imported video screen in Moviestorm. But since I have pro, I can also export it as a 3ds model. I wonder if that will work. I will try it and see as my copy of 3ds Max is not working correctly right now.


I tried it with dae, 3ds, fbx and obj Lucinda, same result each time. Its Sketchup's internal issue, not an export or import in to Moviestorm issue.
Chris Ollis
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#20 lucindamc123

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 10:44 PM

QUOTE (Chris Ollis @ May 19 2010, 09:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I tried it with dae, 3ds, fbx and obj Lucinda, same result each time. Its Sketchup's internal issue, not an export or import in to Moviestorm issue.



Well then I need to get 3ds max running again. I looked this up in the Sketchup forums and then have some extermal programs that render and add reflection and lighting. There might be something that would change the UV in a Sketchup file. I will keep looking at these alternatives and see what I can find out from Sketchup.


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