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Thread: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

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    Member kirstenzirngibl's Avatar
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    Question Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    Hi,

    I wish to convert many imported .iges files into quality meshes with the ability to select edge loops. These .iges files come into Max as "body objects." I am not given any settings when I import, they just come in. The software they came from ("Gravity Sketch VR") didn't give me any exporting options either.

    So, while in Max, while I can "convert to editable poly" or apply a "turn to poly" modifier, the resulting mesh is very poor for editing with my usual workflow. I cannot select edge loops, and the mesh is in triangles. I also find that none of the "turn to poly" modifier settings make a difference. Quadrify also didn't do anything to the triangles.

    I thought that perhaps "Polynurbs 1.0" could do the trick, but body objects aren't NURBS so it doesn't work... This looks promising for turning them into NURBS, but is almost $200 and I'm not 100% sure it would do what I want.

    It seems like this should be natively possible somehow... I'm in Max 2015.

    This person is recommending Rhino for a body-object-to-nurbs step, which I will consider a last resort, since I don't have Rhino and was not prepared to buy/learn it right now. But I will also do what I have to to make good use of these .iges files, too.

    Any advice/strategies? Thanks.

    Edit: Here's an image example of the weird topology I get after converting to edit poly directly in Max...
    BadTopology.jpg
    Last edited by kirstenzirngibl; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    Looks like a triangulated mesh. Try Quadify modifier to turn it into quads, should do the trick (weld vertices before doing that as well). Or you could zRemesh it in Zbrush if all else fails.
    Last edited by matevzavbelj; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:17 PM.

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    Member kirstenzirngibl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    I realize it's a triangulated mesh (a somewhat messed-up one), and had already tried "quadrify" on it, but that only divided things into smaller triangles. Ideally the solution lies into body object->better topology within Max or a plugin within it. The goal is the ability to select edge loops.
    Last edited by kirstenzirngibl; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:42 PM.

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    Senior Member spacefrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    Looks pretty messed up - inconsistent normals etc... if you only got this as edit poly, you are pretty much out of luck for anything better
    in that case, i would turn it to edit mesh and try a unify normals. But in any case, Quadrify or similar tools will not get you anywhere on this kind of tesselation.
    You don't have by any chance the original file ( some CAD data format ) ?
    I seem to remember that the nPowerTools importer has a quad output flag in the mesh tesselation options

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    Senior Member redvella's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    Quote Originally Posted by kirstenzirngibl View Post
    I realize it's a triangulated mesh (a somewhat messed-up one), and had already tried "quadrify" on it, but that only divided things into smaller triangles. Ideally the solution lies into body object->better topology within Max or a plugin within it. The goal is the ability to select edge loops.
    Do things in this order:
    1. Weld verticies
    2. Unify normals
    3. Quadry mesh (do this in the ribbon layout - not as a modifier it makes a huge difference - Modelling > Geometry (All) > Quadrify All)





    Last edited by redvella; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:11 AM.
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    Member kirstenzirngibl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    Quote Originally Posted by spacefrog View Post
    Looks pretty messed up - inconsistent normals etc... if you only got this as edit poly, you are pretty much out of luck for anything better
    in that case, i would turn it to edit mesh and try a unify normals. But in any case, Quadrify or similar tools will not get you anywhere on this kind of tesselation.
    You don't have by any chance the original file ( some CAD data format ) ?
    I seem to remember that the nPowerTools importer has a quad output flag in the mesh tesselation options
    Unfortunately I don't have such a CAD file. The .iges file was exported from Gravity Sketch VR.

    Quote Originally Posted by redvella View Post
    Do things in this order:
    1. Weld verticies
    2. Unify normals
    3. Quadry mesh (do this in the ribbon layout - not as a modifier it makes a huge difference - Modelling > Geometry (All) > Quadrify All)
    Many thanks, that did the trick! I actually didn't know I could quadrify from the ribbon like that. Learn something new every day. there is an art to welding it so that I don't get "broken" edge loops from the occasional triangle, but it is much better than it was.
    redvella likes this.

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    Senior Member redvella's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    Excellent great to hear
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    Senior Member spacefrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    While this produces a quadified mesh, i can't really see it being more "editable" in the human sense. Can you post a screenshot of the quadified mesh ? Problem with that is that most Quad's will not be flattened but consist of several distorted inner triangulation ( vertices of a quad will not sit on a plane) . This will most likely produce problems with the normals while editing and when rendering later on

    Is the mesh posted above the original mesh you have to work with or is it just an example ?
    I really would be interested to get the original mesh in hands and try ( and succeed or fail ) on it myself
    Last edited by spacefrog; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:51 AM.
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    Member kirstenzirngibl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    Quote Originally Posted by spacefrog View Post
    While this produces a quadified mesh, i can't really see it being more "editable" in the human sense. Can you post a screenshot of the quadified mesh ? Problem with that is that most Quad's will not be flattened but consist of several distorted inner triangulation ( vertices of a quad will not sit on a plane) . This will most likely produce problems with the normals while editing and when rendering later on

    Is the mesh posted above the original mesh you have to work with or is it just an example ?
    I really would be interested to get the original mesh in hands and try ( and succeed or fail ) on it myself
    The posted mesh was just an example. The reason it's more editable to me is that I can select edge loops.

    I understand what you mean by vertices that don't lie on a plane.

    The intention of doing all this is to create many quick conceptual buildings in VR using Gravity Sketch (a whole cityscape's worth), then add detail such as struts and floors in Max by selecting edge loops that contour the form-- and creating splines from them using "create shape", then lofting those, or filling them in as new geometry. This would have to be done many times which is why double-click-edge-loop select is important to me.

    I did try rendering that example mesh after quadrifying it, and it looks perfect - no jaggies. However, the topology itself is not perfect in that it didn't all turn to quads. There are still some triangles which impede the ability to select edge loops around the entire form. It's still better than none at all though.

    Attached is an example mesh (more like what I'm going to be working with, but still pretty crude). The .max file has both the .fbx and .iges imported, and I included the raw exports from the VR app as well. As you can see, not all the .iges shapes came in. I also noticed the file had a lot of "curve" objects that didn't appear to BE anything in the viewport. I put those in a separate layer.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2c40lui5s...Sa10Civza?dl=0

    Many thanks for offering to take a look!

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    Senior Member spacefrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Body Objects into clean and editable topology?

    Okay: had a look at the files

    IMHO best is to import the IGES file as bodyobjects ( flattend hierarchy ), set the body objects tesselation to coarse/very low value, once you a happy with the tesselation ( turn on edge display and switch to display as mesh, other wise you want see the mesh tesselation ), add a Quadify Modifier at 100%. After that add an Edit Poly modifier to be able to use the Quadrify All functionality from the Polytools ( ribbon ) and or edit manually by hand, On top of that you can place an Mesh smooth to go back to a nicely tesselated mesh. Most critical of course is the inital tesselation from the body object, there are a lot of parameters ( Body Objects Viewport Display Settings )to tweak accordingly which are always specific to the individual model, so this cannot be really generalized

    Anyways i created a macroscript to help with such conversion tasks:

    Download BodyQuads macroscript

    * Simply install and place the action ( Category Spacefrog->BodyQuad ) on a toolbar
    * select your (imported) body objects and click the button to create the according modifier stack ( low tesselated )
    * CTRL + Button click produces a higher tesselation modifier stack
    * ALT + Button removes the created modifiers and returns the body object to the initial settings ( possibly DESTRUCTIVE ! )

    The round, lathed objects in your example files are good candidates for the standard/lowres version. The organic surfaces are more fit to the CTRL+click ( higher resolution ) version of the modifier stack. But as i said for finer tuning you want to adjust the body objects tesselation manually, you can easily delete the generated Edit Poly modifer and apply a new one after those tweaks, and run the Quadrify All cycle on this
    Below is a screenshot of the unmodified output ( meshsmooth was disabled ) of the script on your sample file. The large organic surfaces were produced using "CTRL click" ( higher tesselation )

    Click image for larger version

Name:	BodyQuad.jpg
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    Last edited by spacefrog; 1 Week Ago at 04:46 AM.
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