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LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

New plugins, tools etc.
Bullit
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LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Bullit » 09 Oct 2013, 13:39

LK Fabric gives you control over the geometry of the cloth down to the fibres which make up the threads which then in turn make up the fabric.
It supports motionblur, strand-texturing directly in ICE, fabric flowing over multiple surfaces and many more things.

This tool has come out of a series of commercials for Nike, which I got to work on at Royale http://www.weareroyale.com/ this summer.
They have graciously allowed me to share this tool-set with the community. Major thanks for that!

Big thanks also go to Billy Morrison, Ciaran Moloney and Andy Moorer who provided pages and pages of feedback during production and then used the tools to create all the pretty images.
Andy did a nice write-up about the production on the Softimage-mailing-list: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/xsi_lis ... NTPhu2qXUJ



Thanks to Leonard , Royale and everyone in it.
Softimage is increasingly looking like 3dsMax and its plugins.

http://leonardkoch.com/blog/2013/10/9/n ... -lk-fabric

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Hirazi Blue » 09 Oct 2013, 13:58

That looks interesting! Thanks, Leo! :-bd
Bullit wrote:Softimage is increasingly looking like 3dsMax and its plugins.
That's a bit of a weird remark. Official development having slowed to a crawl, (generous) third-party devs are the only thing to keep Softimage afloat...
:D
...

Bullit
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Bullit » 09 Oct 2013, 14:24

Maybe, but it is more the feel i get that Softimage compounds/addons/plugins are starting to get the importance for the program like 3dsMax plugins are for 3dsMax. There are users that only use 3dsMax because of some of its plugins. At time Vray, its quality and its comparatively ease of use for example established and sustained a good part of 3dsMax market.

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Hirazi Blue » 09 Oct 2013, 14:31

Okay, but the problem doesn't lie with the third-party development IMHO and thus I called your remark "weird" in the context of announcing Leo's addon. He is, after all, not to blame for the situation...

edit & PS - The question if and why Softimage has become/is becoming too dependent on plugins
seems an interesting topic for a separate thread, though...
...

Bullit
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Bullit » 09 Oct 2013, 16:21

No no, you understood me wrong then, instead i was praising the huge amount of addons, compounds, plugins that have appeared in recent years.

In the past Softimage was just the application itself. Not anymore.

NNois
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by NNois » 09 Oct 2013, 16:34

"like"
Thanks a million Leonard, this community is outstanding !

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Hirazi Blue » 09 Oct 2013, 17:47

Bullit wrote:No no, you understood me wrong then
Yes, I misunderstood you. Sorry about that.
...

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Mootzoid
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Mootzoid » 09 Oct 2013, 19:57

Hey Leonard,

Very nice tool, thanks for bringing it to the community!

Best,
Eric

PS: you still owe me a video tutorial for emPolygonizer, don't know if you remember.

Bullit
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Bullit » 09 Oct 2013, 20:18

Yes, I misunderstood you. Sorry about that.
:) No need to say sorry. We were seeing it from different perspective.

Leo
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Leo » 09 Oct 2013, 22:36

Thanks for posting it here Bullit.
Glad you guys dig it.
Mootzoid wrote:Hey Leonard,

Very nice tool, thanks for bringing it to the community!

Best,
Eric

PS: you still owe me a video tutorial for emPolygonizer, don't know if you remember.
Hah, I do remember. I'm out of the country for a month now, but I'll make one for you once I'm back.
At this point your tutorials cover the functionality of the plugins so well, I'll have to get quite creative to complement those.
Probably something ice-centric.

mihaiNL
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by mihaiNL » 11 Oct 2013, 02:19

Huge thanks for this awesome tool! And very gracious of Royale to make it available :ymapplause:

If it weren't for guys like you creating all these tools and adding so much more value to SI, I too would share in the doom and gloom of its future. So a big thanks for that as well!

mihaiNL
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by mihaiNL » 11 Oct 2013, 10:51

Maybe I'm doing something wrong but the second Pattern curve doesn't seem to do anything.

- I create the default setup on a grid surface
- I edit the points of the first curve and both the U and V directions of the thread changes appearance
- I edit the second curve and nothing happens

I noticed in the Core it says nr of Pattern Curves, and it's set to 1. If I set it to 2, I get a warning saying too few curves connected. Is it nr of pattern curves per U/V or in total?

Bullit
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Bullit » 12 Oct 2013, 14:51

I am trying it too. To make the it grow in diverse parts of the object and then they all magically join. But for now i am failing.

My setup idea was to add a "stop threads by volume" to "LKF core" stopper input , the volume is a box that scales up and since "stop threads by volume" is in outside volume mode then they only grow up inside the volume. So far so good. But i have 2 problems:

1 -It only works with what i think is the V not with U. So those that grow along the Swoosh never appear.
I noticed that if i put the box at the tip where they start then those in U also appear to respect the volume, but if i merge two boxes it appear in first box if this one is at tip but doesn't appear in second one.

2 -When i put two boxes to grow in 2 places it doesn't work either in U or V. Two "stop threads by volume" seem to not work concurrently. I tried either putting it in stoppers or in LKF hub manipulator.
There is a workaround that is to merge the boxes, but then i can't scale them up, i have to move points.

Another i had was just to fire particles to the swoosh and then these that hit will make a weighmap and then it will grow from the weightmap growing.

Matic
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Matic » 20 Oct 2013, 08:05

Hi gang, Andy Moorer here. I'll try to put together a sample scene based on the Nike commercials to give some insight into using lkFabric. It's a complex enough system that getting a feel for it takes some struggling at first.

Some general quick thoughts from using it on those two commercials...

- "Stoppers" were an early addition where we were planning on using them to cut out non-square shapes like clothing patterns. We ended up not using them, because we liked the U/V shapers better. Animating the U/V shapes was much of where we did iterations of looks for the client.

- Our general workflow was to draw a series of curves on the surface of the shoe where we wanted cloth to grow, and then to loft and shrink wrap the resulting surface to our base polygonal model of the shoe and sweatshirt.

- A "thread" is a collection of strands typically spiraling around each other. A "pattern" is how threads deform to go over and under each other, or in a knit how threads interlock with their neighbor. LkFabric defines a "per strand" and a "per thread" context, and has frames of reference to shift positions in relation to strands, threads and patterns.

- Deformation was handled by transferring the resulting animated strands from a static shoe mesh to the deforming one as a post ICE process. I can't share the compounds, but it basically involves getting the closest location to each strand point on the base mesh and then reinterpreting the strand points' location on new geometry.

- Multiple pattern curves do work but it takes some care to get used to how to get the results you visualize. Because almost all of the cloth we dealt with had a very fine "herring bone" pattern once we got a set of pattern curves and settings dialed in we locked it down. As a result lkFabric hasn't had as much testing and development in making it easier to generate many different kinds of patterns, we were pushing poor Leonard for animation control. He lost a lot of sleep making this.

Your feedback in this area will likely help him improve the experience (assuming he continues to refine the system, which I think likely if he gets a lot of feedback and encouragement) but in my tests I was able to create several common knits and weaves. Keep at it! If memory serves the number of pattern curves was set to 2, which is per U and V... So 2 curves for U, 2 for V. For a knit a single looped curve is used, the pattern only would extend along U (or V,) and every other thread would be offset. Offsetting the pattern of every "n'th" thread is very useful and key to getting many patterns.

- I think the sample scene you have has threads in a helix. In the commercials we actually had several layers of these threads. In one shot we had over 80 thread curves, in fact, but this was an extreme case. 12-24 gives you a nice density, and using some randomization per strand results in a look like yarn.

- The fabric shoe in the first commercial had many millions of individual fibers. A shot which would have gone in like a microscope never happened, but we were able to zoom in on a square centimeter of the shoe and see each fiber in each thread growing. (It helped that Royale provided us with crazy powerful 'best-in-class' workstations. I got quite spoiled.)

- You can also get a nice braided look by reversing half of the spirals or getting more complex.

- There are some color tools which have untapped potential. Shooting color down threads or strands or picking up colors from an underlying mesh could create some cool effects. This system doesn't just have to be fabric, it's a pretty broad toolset for doing all kinds of interesting things with strands, we didn't have time to really explore the many possibilities.

- The options to randomize and turbulize per thread and per strand are key to a natural look. This is the area where we had the most fun, using combinations and animating these nodes to make fibers grow in various ways. Nike tends to be very conservative, we were able to get some very wild and energetic motions which we always had to dial back, so there is a lot in this area which hasn't really had a chance to be shown off yet. Look at polynoids Lenovo/"carbon" spot for inspiration, lkFabric can make very aggressive, almost explosive evolutions like that very nicely.

I know that's hardly much help, I'll try to get a scene or two put together. In the meantime keep exploring, Billy and I definitely experienced a learning curve before we had a handle on the system but there is a lot of power there too. Our priority was to push Leonard for power over ease of use because the timeframe was so tight, but as a result this system is capable of far, far more than we ever got to show. Cheers - AM

Bullit
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Bullit » 20 Oct 2013, 15:40

Thanks Andy for feedback, so the way to grow a fabric that start in several parts and join it all at the end should be done with U/V shapes - i still have to look of what is that - ?

Matic
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Re: LK Fabric from Leonard Koch

Post by Matic » 22 Oct 2013, 22:17

Ok, I've posted an example scene which is derived from the basic setup we used as a starting point on Nike. It's pretty basic but I've replaced all obsolete nodes and added comments throughout so hopefully it will be helpful.

It can be found on my website here, and here's a simple mental ray render of what the scene makes (just a square of fabric, doesn't get simpler than that lol. But there are a lot of things to mess with in there despite that.) :D

Image

enjoy! - am

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