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TurboSplines Introductory Video Tutorial

This is an external video tutorial. A great introduction to TurboSplines, created by Jamie Cardoso (renowned author, reviewer, computer artist & technologist)

It’s a quick overview of the main tools and parameters in the plugin, that shows you how fast and easy is to create amazing spline animations and effects with TurboSplines.

Video ThumbnailLearn the basics of TurboSplines 3dsMax plugin. Tutorial by Jamie Cardoso.

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Q-Proxies: Presets & Mesh Types

Q-Proxies comes with 8 useful Presets that help you quickly setup the main parameters for generating proxies, according to the type of objects you are working with. They cover the general categories of : rocks, vehicles, vegetation, sculptures and characters.

Before digging more into how the presets work and how to use them properly, it’s better to know which are the type of meshes this plugin can generate to use for proxy objects.

Proxy Mesh Types

The plugin gives you 5 different alternatives that you can use as a proxy mesh:

  • From Source (also Lowpoly): uses a copy of the original mesh. If you set Use Polygon Reduction on, then you will get a lowpoly version of the source object.
    (This works generally good for most cases, except for those objects that contains a lot of submeshes o tiny faces, like vegetation, wire fences, nest-like shapes, etc.)
  • Convex Hull: creates a mesh that wraps the original mesh, with a very low resolution. In the last version of the plugin, this mesh can also be concave.
    (Recommended for extremely highpoly meshes that don’t require a very accurate proxy representation in scene. Very useful for cars, rocks, vegetation and many others)
  • Box: creates a box mesh from the local bounding box of the object.
    (Useful for objects whose shape resembles a box and they don’t have a main role in the scene, like very distant buildings, packing boxes, containers, etc.)
  • Vertex Cloud: shows only the vertices of the original mesh. If you activate Polygon Reduction, you can control the amount of vertices shown.
    (Very useful for vegetation, wire fences, nest-like shapes, etc.)
  • Custom Mesh: lets you pick a custom mesh for your proxies.
    Make sure the object you pick has no transforms and its pivot is placed according to how it is set in the objects you are going to replace.

As you see, there’s a wide range of options to choose from, to cover all your needs. Some are very lowpoly and lightweight, but just give you a very raw representation of the original object’s shape. Others look very similar to their reference but having much more polygons or take more time to process.

The fastest methods are Box, Convex Hull and Vertex Cloud. Using From Source can take from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the amount of faces and objects to process.
Generating animated proxies requires always more time than static proxies, and depends on the amount of faces, objects and animation lenght.
It is about you to pick the better option for what you need. And there are also the Presets to help you.

Presets

There are 8 default presets to make a quick setup for creating proxies. These presets were thought based on different categories of objects, but every option may be suitable for other type of objects too. They are just generalizations.

Although Q-Proxies can process many different kind of objects together at once, if you plan to create proxies for different type of objects at the same scene, it is advisable to work them separately, in steps. That way you will ensure to process every type of object in the most appropriate and efficient way.

Each preset configures the options that mainly define:
to treat an object as static or animated; to apply polygon reduction or not (and how much); to bake the object’s animation or not; to turn grouped objects into a single proxy or not; what type of proxy mesh is better to use.

These are the presets, with a little description of what they do:

  • Deafult: suitable for most cases. Uses original mesh with a moderate polygon reduction.
  • Rocks/Stones: makes a quite lowpoly version.
  • Vehicles – static: uses Convex Hull as mesh type and turns grouped objects into a single proxy.
  • Vehicles – animated: makes a lowpoly version, keeping all objects separated to handle animation.
  • Vegetation: uses Convex Hull mesh type for fast processing of millions of polygons.
  • Vegetation – animated: ideal for plants and trees being moved by the wind, or deforming objects/characters with a slight animation.
    It uses Vertex Cloud and Animation Baking with a step of 5 frames.
  • Sculptures/Statues: creates a lowpoly version, with enough vertices to preserve some detail. Also suitable for still characters.
  • Animated Characters: it bakes the character/vertex animation to a lowpoly version, attaching all character parts.

The recommended procedure is to firstly choose the preset that better match the type of objects you want to replace, and then adjust the parameters if necessary.

Apart from using the default presets, you may want to create your own presets. For that porpose, there are the Load and Save options, which let you store preset files to disk and reuse them later.

That’s all for this tutorial. If you have any questions or consultations, just write us throught the Contact form. Take a look at the other tutorials and the plugin’s manual for further learning.

Cheers! 🙂

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