Monday, 9 September 2013

VERTEX NORMAL TOOL v1.01 UPDATE

Release 1.01 of the Vertex normal tools is now available. This is a minor update that fixes a couple of bugs and adds R15 compatabilty.


ChangeLog:

Version 1.01:
  • Fixed bug that in certain cases when c4d called "reload python plugins" a warning  would be printed to console.
  • Fixed bug that could cause an unexpected error when c4d is closed if the vertex normal tool is still active and drawing to the viewport.
  • Added compiled .pypv for R15 compatibility.
All license holders of V1 will receive V1.01 free of charge and should recieve an email with download links for the latest version. If you are a valid license holder of v1 and do not receive an email please contact me.

   

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

WELCOME TO FROSTSOFT

(*This site is best viewed using FireFox or Google Chrome. FrostSoft is not and has never been associated with any other companies or websites that may have a similar name.)
 
Welcome to FrostSoft, my personal blog specialising in all things related to realtime asset creation with C4D.

As a C4D user and artist whose primary field of interest is in realtime asset creation I wanted to create a site in order to share tutorials and work flow tips gained from personal experience, together with information and WIP's on any personal projects i am working on.

In the coming months i will also be making available on this site various C4D plugins (both free and commercial), the majority of which have either been built to aid in realtime asset creation within C4D or to incorporate a variety of realtime techniques into C4D for traditional rendering.

So stay tuned and thanks for stopping by,

Tundras

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

VERTEX NORMAL TOOL PLUGIN





OVERVIEW
Vertex Normal Tool is a plug-in for C4D which adds a tool for creating and manipulating vertex normals on polygon objects in C4d. Virtually all other high-end 3d applications (3ds Max, Maya, etc.) support vertex normal editing and while c4d supports importing, rendering, etc.. vertex normals it lacks any interface or tool for creating or editing them. This plug-in aims to address that problem by giving the artist full control over vertex normals. 

PRICE AND AVAILABILTY
Version 1.0 is available to buy and download now for £38. 50% SALE £19 


A free function limited lite version of the Vertex Normal Tool is also available to download from the Plugins Page.

REQUIERMENTS:
C4D r12.048 and above (also updated for r15).
A Windows PC or Mac.



WHAT ARE VERTEX NORMALS (VNT documentation)

*NOTE: C4D refers to vertices as points and a vertex is just another more widely used term for a point. So in C4d when you are in point edit mode you could also say that you are in vertex edit mode.

A normal can simply be described as a direction vector with a length of one so for example the normal vector (0,1,0) xyz would point straight up. You have probably come across polygon normals which define the facing direction of a polygon and are most commonly used to determine back-face culling. However, you may not have heard of vertex normals before.

VNT BASICS (VNT documentation)

If you are using r12 of C4D once installed the plugin will be available from the python/plugins menu for r13 it will be available from the plugins menu. 

ADDING A VERTEX NORMAL TAG

Vertex normal data is stored in a vertex normal tag attached to the object and adding these tags with the vertex normal tool is done simple by selecting the object(s) and going into either Point, Edge or Polygon edit mode so the tool becomes active and then clicking anywhere in the view port. The tag created will convert the object(s) current phong angle together with any edge breaks into vertex normal data.

ALPHA PLANES: GRASS, TREES ETC (VNT documentation)

(*I really struggled on what to call this section as the techniques covered can be used in such a variety of situations from grass, trees and hair it was difficult to pin down a name that covered them all. In the end I settled on calling it alpha planes as that is probably the most commonly used term however, even this is a technically inaccurate name as there is no reason why the mesh representation needs to be planar and in fact it is often not but these techniques will still apply..)

One common technique for representing an otherwise complex object in its simplest form is by using mapped image(s) of the object usually containing an alpha channel on to a polgon, series of polygons or “cards” in order to give the illusion of the actual model/object without the expense of vert/poly count that would otherwise be required. Now this is rather a loose description of the term "alpha planes" and some would also call this technique spites or impostors, but in this article I will call them alpha planes and i will be using a polygon-cross arrangement of alpha planes.

LOWPOLY TREES (VNT documentation)

Using the previous scene I have removed the centre polygon-cross tree and replaced it with a low-poly tree. The low-poly tree's truck and main branches were made using normal modelling techniques and the bunches of leaves were created from two polygon-crosses which were then distributed along the branches and throughout the tree until the desired shape and volume was achieved. However, with the default normals the same problem exists as before with the lighting being incoherent as shown in A.