First post: question about geometry display

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jgdeschamps
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 11:50 pm

First post: question about geometry display

Post by jgdeschamps » Wed May 23, 2012 12:20 am

Hi guys, let me introduce myself before I begin to post annoying questions...
I'm Julio, I'm an architect from Mexico and I love 3D. My professional experience has been with animation for architectural and prototype viz, as well as personal experiments at character animation. I come mainly from a Maya and AutoCAD background. I do not own a Maya license because I've only had to use it at my employers' workstations, but I do have a student license for personal projects. Problem is that the student license does not allow commercial use, and I have right now an interest on casual games since I do happen to own a Unity iPhone Basic license.

Enter Blender.

I've heard about it before, but never really gave it a spin. Big mistake, since I'm loving it, it's a very interesting piece of software and I've been getting into it for the last 5 days. I have been able to reproduce most workflows that I use in Maya. Now, here comes my first issue that I have not been able to find a document for reference: for rigging purposes, I often use proxy geometries that are not visible, but are selectable (and viceversa.) I'll explain further: In Maya, you select your object, go to Display/Object Display/No geometry. This, of course, turns off geometry for an object, but the object remains selectable. Is there such an object display option in Blender?

Thanks for your help!

J

CoDEmanX
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Post by CoDEmanX » Wed May 23, 2012 1:47 am

You can make objects view their bounds only in viewport, still possible to select:
Image

Or hide objects in render image (camera icon in outliner)
I'm sitting, waiting, wishing, building Blender in superstition...

jgdeschamps
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 11:50 pm

Post by jgdeschamps » Wed May 23, 2012 4:54 pm

Yes, I noticed those display modes, but for the use I'm intending they are no good. As I said, they are for rigging purposes and I need that the proxy object shows effectively no geometry, no bounding box or any sort of indication that it's there... but it still should be selectable. It's a really handy feature of Maya for rigging purposes. I take it then that Blender has no such display mode... It could be a great addition to Blender. I have no time right now, but I'll post why it's needed later. Thanks for the reply.

jgdeschamps
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 11:50 pm

Post by jgdeschamps » Thu May 24, 2012 6:18 pm

OK, so a quick rigging use for this "no geometry" but-still-selectable-in-the-viewport display mode is duplicating and separating the geometry of lets say, the upper lip of a character. You end up with two geometries (one for the character, one as a control selection region proxy) occupying the same space.
You can then apply a deformer for the original character geometry to operate the upper lip, and drive it with a translate channel of the duplicated geometry proxy. You need to avoid double transformations, of course, but this is easy to hurdle using mathematic operators (Paolo Dominici's technique.) You must also apply a wrap deformer to the duplicated geometry so it can deform along the original character geometry. Once you set this up, you make your main character geometry visible and non-selectable, and the duplicated geometry proxy you set it as selectable, but non visible. You end up with a clean character where you just need to click on parts of its face or body and drive their deformations or body motions using only translate and rotate gizmos. All interactive, no sliders, channel values, etc. And only have to deal with translate or rotate splines at the graph editor.
This is not for Unity or real time applications, only for rendered vizualizations or character animations. But it's a very nice, clean way of working when animating, though a little processor intensive rig.
There are other ways of using selectable, non-viewable objects, like displaying only UV points when selecting the geometry, templating vertices on a selection basis, etc.

ldo
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Post by ldo » Sat May 26, 2012 9:24 am

If you’re using an invisible object as a control, how do you know you’ve selected it?

jgdeschamps
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Post by jgdeschamps » Sun May 27, 2012 1:28 am

Because it´s located at a position you are going to click the character on (if you wanna move the jaw, you click the jaw, not a spline curve) as I explained on my previous point. It´s a non-intrusive controller.

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