October 27, 2011

lcReproject.cgfx–A Novel Texturing Technique

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I was inspired by Brice Vandermoortele’s Normal Map Reprojection Shader and wanted to extend the idea to new uses.  This is a novel way of texturing using lit sphere images and cubemaps.  You can reproject color and normal textures to a new UV Set.

As a CGFX shader, only Nvidia cards will load this reliably, but I’ve added a arbfp1 technique that might work on AMD and older cards.  Cubemaps are lower quality and don’t have any blurring using this mode.

Getting close . . .

My new shader ‘lcShader’ is almost feature complete.  It’s a very close approximation to the Mental Ray mia_material, but in real-time.  In testing I’m able to get very realistic looking materials using a standard texture workflow (diffuse, spec, gloss, cubemap).  Again, HLSL and CGFX versions will be identical, running the same exact code.  Lights react much nicer than previous shaders and have realistic fall-off.  And baked shadow maps too.

My shadow map baking script is also nearing completion, it will automatically link raytrace-baked shadow maps to the shader for linked lights and supports transparency in both the shader surface and the shadow cast.

Here is a quick screen grab, HLSL on the left, CGFX on the right.  They don’t have the exact same shader settings so some slight differences

October 4, 2011

lcRetopoBasic–Maya Retopology Tool

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I was inspired after seeing RetopoG, but since it is not currently available I decided to make my own tool for Maya.

This tool will let you use Maya’s makeLive features to easily draw new topology on a mesh.  The tool is designed to be very simple and rely heavily on Maya’s built-in modeling tools.  This is written in pyMel, which only comes pre-installed on Maya 2011 and later.

This is a very early beta-like version, I’ve only just begun to test this in the last few days but it seems workable.  I don’t have any plans to include a full custom toolset like RetopoG, you will mostly have to use Maya’s tools.

A short video explaining the tool:

The Relax Verts and Shrink-Wrap Verts are tools based on Oleg Alexander’s oaRelaxVerts.mel