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Lighting and Simple Skeleton Hierarchy Examples
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DrJim
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Default Lighting and Simple Skeleton Hierarchy Examples - 05-26-2009, 12:43 PM

I had some earlier private conversations regarding some Alice 2.0 capabilities and decided to put together and post a couple of examples arising from those conversations. Both examples were put together quickly and are not really intended as full tutorials in any sense.

I put this posting in this section instead of the Share Worlds section since it really is aimed at approaches to importing and using objects.

First, the attached photo shows what the various “seldom used” lighting properties can do. In this case, a picture is really worth many words since the subject itself is fairly complicated and Alice’s implementation - while fairly nice - is still far from what a high end rendering engine would do (no shadows, for example). In Alice, an “emissive” light will make an object (or object part) glow internally, while secular effects will add reflection-type highlights to the basic object.

Second, the zipped folder contains a small demonstration of how to construct a simple skeleton structure for a group of images. In this case, I used 2D images, since that is what started the discussion - but the approach will work fine for 3D objects.

The key in this case is the “centered sphere” .ase object contained in the folder - which, since I didn’t recalibrate my scale in Anim8or - needs to be reduced in size by at least factor of 100 in order to be useful in Alice.

You need to import these in a hierarchical manner (import each child sphere as a texture for the parent object - as described elsewhere in this forum) and then locate the various nodes to serve as origins for your other images/objects as needed. Next make each actual image’s vehicle a dummy sphere at the appropriate level and move the image to the location desired with respect to the dummy origin. (In the end, you are going to want to make all the dummy origins “not showing” - but leave this for last).

The Anim8or/Biturn approach I used generates some extra levels - if you really are going to use this technique a lot, you may want to use 4DBlue to give a simpler dummy object (please post it if you do - never mind, I did it) but the key to keeping the hierarchy is to always import the child object as a texture of the parent, which this simple example shows. That way, moving any “parent” will keep the relative positions of all it’s “children" - but have no effect on the parent's own parents. (Note that the hierarchy only has to be maintained for the dummy origins and their relative positions (i.e., the skeleton). No hierarchy is needed for the images themselves.

I’m hoping Alice 3.0 will make the steps shown in the second example unnecessary - but it does give some insight into the underlying principles involved.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Light Options.jpg (38.5 KB, 128 views)
Attached Files
File Type: zip Simple Skeleton.zip (357.5 KB, 26 views)

Last edited by DrJim; 05-26-2009 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Referenced next post
   
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Better Sphere
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DrJim
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Default Better Sphere - 05-26-2009, 06:51 PM

I was working with the skeleton a little more and the multiple layers for a "simple" sphere were really getting annoying, so I went to 4DBlue after all.

The resulting sphere and an example world are attached.

Another note - as I (re)discovered, only polygon .ase mesh models from 4DBlue import correctly - not NURBS objects or complete scene setups.
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File Type: zip BetterSphere.zip (190.7 KB, 15 views)
   
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dubastot
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Default 06-30-2009, 08:45 AM

How do you convert 4dblue files into alice files?
   
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DrJim
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Default 06-30-2009, 08:12 PM

Just save them in .ase format (one of the options in 4D Blue) and they'll import into Alice directly.
   
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