Tutorials

Importing Poser Characters into trueSpace 5 and 6 with the luuv plug-in

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If you want to import Poser characters into trueSpace, you can use Clinton Grant's excellent free plug-in called luuv. This plug-in can import and export .obj files with their textures. To download a copy, go to

http://www.pinacoderm.com/tsx/luuv

To download a PDF version of this tutorial, click here:

 

1. Inside Poser

Pose and texture your character inside Poser before exporting it.

Luuv needs to have the textures in the same folder as the .obj file. For easy texturing inside trueSpace, the best thing to do is to make a new folder inside your trueSpace folder where you will save your .obj file and where you can place copies of all the textures used for that object. 

When you are ready to export your object, go to File/Export/Wavefront OBJ. In the Hierarchy Selection window, first uncheck everything by clicking in the box in front of "Universe", then select the object(s) you want to export. (Figure 1.1) If you are exporting a group of objects (e.g. a character with hair and clothing), don't forget to scroll down and check all the items.

 

Figure 1.1

For the save options, choose the following:
- Include body part names in polygon groups
- Include figure names in polygon groups
- Weld body part seams

(Figure 1.2)

Figure 1.2

 

2. Opening luuv in trueSpace and choosing the options

To load luuv, click on "install new trueSpace extension" and navigate to the folder where the plug-in is located (e.g. trueSpace5/Tsx/luuv), then double-click luuv.tsx.

If you right-click the plug-in's icon , you get a pop-up window with the options. (Figure 2.1)

 

Figure 2.1

Let's go through these options to see what exactly they do and when/if we might need to change them:

Export options 

Preserve groups

If you are exporting a grouped object you can choose whether or not you want it exported with its groups. If you don't, then uncheck the "Group by material" option. This will enable the "Preserve groups" option, so you can uncheck that, too. In this case a single mesh will be exported. If you open this in UVMapper, there will only be one item listed in the Groups, but if the object had more than one texture applied to it all of these textures will be listed under the Materials, so you can still choose particular materials and assign them to new groups inside UVMapper. 

Group by material

Luuv exports the texturing information when you save your mesh as an .obj file. This is very useful, because by giving different colors or textures to different parts of your object you can later isolate these parts inside UVMapper for  individual mapping or  for assigning them groups. For example, you could paint  the collars of a shirt with a different color than the body of the shirt. Then, inside UVMapper, you  could select the collars by  going to Select/Select by/Material and select the collar's material. Then you could use planar or spherical UV mapping on the collars while using cylindrical UV mapping on the rest of the body.

 Another helpful step to take before exporting your object is to give names to the different parts of a group. For example, if you named a part of your object "Wood", then you can go to "Select/Select by/Group" and a window will pop up listing the different groups with their names, one of them being something like "NoName, 1 Wood". This would make it easier to identify the different groups of your object in UV Mapper. (Figure 2.2)

Whether or not you enable the  "Group by material" option inside Luuv doesn't seem to make a big difference; the different materials will still get listed inside UVMapper. The difference I can see is how the groups and materials will be listed in UVMapper (whether or not they will be split up according to material inside the Select by Group window or not). 

 

Figure 2.2

 

Copy texture files

If you use image files for the textures of your object you can choose whether or not you want to save those image files in the same place where you're going to save your .obj file. Procedural textures will not be exported, since they are program specific. (But they will still be listed as different materials inside UVMapper.)

Import options

Preserve groups

Whether or not you want to preserve the groups of your object when importing depends on how you intend to use it inside trueSpace. If you are importing a character to make a clothing item for it, it's best to import with the groups preserved. This way, you can easily select and delete unnecessary parts. For example, if you are modeling a skirt, you could delete the  head, arms, chest, etc of the character object. Also, when setting up the groups for exporting the clothing item, it will be easier to see which part of the clothing should go with which body part of the character for conforming. However, if you are importing a character to place in a scene and render in trueSpace, you might not want to import with the groups preserved. The reason for this is the following: It seems that when you import a character with the groups preserved, the texture of the different parts might look slightly different. (Figure 2.3) 

 

Figure 2.3

 

Autoscale

When you import an .obj file from Poser, it's very, very small in the trueSpace scene. You can enable the Autoscale option to automatically make the object bigger when importing. In some cases, however, you might want to uncheck this option and do the scaling yourself. For example, if you are bringing in a character to build a clothing item around and you intend to export this clothing item to use in Poser, it's better to uncheck the Autoscale option. Then, once your object is in the scene, open the Object Info panel and scale your object manually. To do this, go to the Size row and multiply the x, y, and z values by the same amount (the easiest  is to multiply them by 10, e.g. x*10). You can enter mathematical equations in each field and tS will calculate the amount. (Figure 2.4) Then, when you are ready to export your clothing item, just divide the x, y, and z sizes by the same number (e.g. x/10). When you import your clothing item into Poser, uncheck all options and the size should be just right.

Figure 2.4

 

Scale factor

If you enable the autoscaling, you can set the scale factor in the options window. This is a good solution if you are going to use the imported object inside trueSpace and you are not going to export the mesh or the mesh built around this object. The autoscaling is based on the biggest dimension and its aim is to make the object a good size to work with, but it does not scale the object by multiplying each dimension by the same amount (e.g. by 10). If you need to do the scaling that way, it's better to scale manually (see previous example).

Autofacet angle

The autofacet angle will determine how smooth the model will look inside trueSpace. You can adjust it here before importing the model, or later within the Material Editor. (Right-click on the Autofacet icon within the Material Editor to bring up the Autofacet control.) A value of 80-120 seems to give good results.

Ambient factor

You can set the material ambient factor before importing the object. If you leave the value at 0, then the ambience value will remain how it was set up in the originating program. If you change this number in the options window before importing (to a number  between 0 and  1), then this new value will override the original value.

Specular factor

Similar to the ambient factor, but for specularity: if you  leave the value at 0, then the original specularity setting will remain; if you change the value, then this new specularity setting will be applied to the object upon importing.

Miscellaneous - Show warnings

Luuv needs to have the textures in the same folder as the .obj file. If you import an object without the textures being in the same folder, the plug-in will warn you about the missing textures. (Figure 2.5) Just click OK. You can also disable the warnings and then the warning dialogs will not be shown.

 

Figure 2.5

Help

Click on Help to learn more about the plug-in.

 

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Copyright   2002-2012 by Susan Lee.