Is There Something Like LightWave Chronosculpt in Blender?

We can use LightWave Chronosculpt to fix the collision or intersection of a cloth simulation, instead of re-simulate the cloth.

Does Blender have that feature? Is there a similar open-source software or add-on?

Cloth simulation is a modifier.
There is ability to set modifiers influencing mesh before simulation or after simulation.
There is ability to store several caches. But switching from one to another is requiring to use python.

There is no way to edit simulation cache.
There was one in 2.79 through Particle Edit mode but it is broken since 2.80.
And it never have been satisfying, anyways.

You can export cache and re-import it through Mesh Cache modifier to have an influence factor to ponderate influence of simulation. But that is all.

Future of geometry nodes should allow to tweak cache and simulation.
But for the moment, they are just a regular modifier.

Corrective shapekeys are not working with clothes.
Current system is very rigid. Everything in set-up has to be anticipated.
You are basically forced to re-simulate, do several baking or avoid cloth modifier and prefer to animate a cloth sculpting.

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Hi gotanidea

I was intrigued by this so had a quick dig around. I was delighted recently to see that Blender had a very nice version of the Maya skin wrap feature in the Data Transfer Modifier so was wondering if there was a similar work around for this.

Normally animated sculpting solutions like this work with point caches of the simulations of course rather than the raw simulations themselves. Sadly shape keys don’t work with cached point animation. The point cache overrides them each time.

So the best workaround I could quickly find was to cache out as an Alembic or usda. Then add a lattice modifier on top of the MeshSequenceCache modifier. The best solution I can think of now is if it was a skirt say. Add or attach a lattice to the rig and add shape keys into the lattice for common problem areas and animate them where needed. Perhaps cache out together at the end to bake it all in. Not ideal but should work for broad shape type of edits. Perhaps there are better work around’s yet to be found ?

One thing I miss from Maya is that shape keys or Blend Shapes in Maya can be animated deforming meshes. This offers so much flexibility. It would mean it would be possible to add a simulation cache to a static mesh as an animated Shape Key then simply add more shape key’s on top.

This is how so many muscle systems and cloth sim’s were edited so much in the past. Hopefully one day this option of being able to reference dynamic moving meshes can come to Blenders shape key system. Or perhaps there is another way in Blender to reference one deforming mesh to an identical static mesh ? One that can be sculpted on top of.

With Blenders sculpting tools there must be a version of this so nearly in reach. There is the KeyMesh modifier which might offer a solution ? I’ve not looked into it much myself but it seems clear the foundation for a fully integrated Blender answer to a Chronosculpt type of functionality all seems to be there.

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Yes. I just wonder whether there was a way to fix cloth animation after simulation, as Chronosculpt does. After watching Chronosculpt tutorial, I think it’s possible to create the feature in Blender, but it requires a good scripting knowledge

I heard about Maya’s corrective sculpt feature and its Joe Alter’s LipService plugin, but I didn’t know we could also sculpt a simulation cache as an animated blendshape in Maya. It’s good because it means we don’t need another software to quickly fix the simulation.

I also heard about KeyMesh, but I believe it’s similar to AnimAll for vertex animation. Unfortunately, cloth simulation cache overrides vertex animation.

Your Mesh Sequence Cache modifier solution is a great idea though. Hopefully Blender developers will make something similar to Chronosculpt in the future

For sure yes.

I was testing an Alembic cloth cache with modifiers on top and it is amazing how many modifiers work well with it. Solidify , Displace and all of the broader deformer ones seem to do. Even Re Mesh works sort of OK with it. It all feels very stable and fast.

All it would seem to need would be an animatable sculpt and shape key modifier that can sit on top of the point cache modifier in the same way most of the other mesh modifiers do. I am not a coder but surely this would not be an impossible thing to do ? Everything else needed would already seem to be there in place.

This is a quick test with a Mesh Sequence Cache Modifier then a subdivision modifier and a Solidify modifier and lastly a Boolean modifier. All works so smoothly together. Although the Solidify messes up the finer creases a little.

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Geonodes does this really well, it has replaced shapekeys in some cases for me (not all, because of evaluation order and other stuff).

We could also export the cloth simulation into an MDD file and import it as shape keys, then maybe create a calculation to gradually edit the vertices of the shape keys using sculpting tools. If I have free time, I will learn to make the script or add-on

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Hey at least LightWave left us one good long-lasting legacy! :slight_smile:

I used this method quite a bit when I first came over to Blender from Lightwave.

When they come in as shape keys of course, they are timed into a sequence frame by frame.

In theory, with this method, all you would need is as many shape keys that you want all the way at the bottom of that stack - which will affect keys above it - and leave the default relative to Basis.

You also can create a vertex map and limit your corrective shape key to a specific area for each shape key. As you sculpt with any method including proportionate edit, (fall off) this will help being able to use a brush larger than the area you are wanting to affect for example. Basically it gives you more control.

I have not tested this. But it would be different than Chrono because you’d have to have a new “track” for each change.

However, it does seem like the basic features exist to then write an addon with a more intuitive interface that could make it work/look like chrono sculpt to the user. But I am not a programmer… so I have no idea if that is plausible.

Yeah, LightWave workflow can give us some ideas. It’s going to be tedious if we have to edit each keyframed shape key, so we’ll need to automate it. I’ll investigate it further once I have some free time

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So I worked it out. We actually needed this solution so it was good to do. I think it is fairly simple, and with out-of-the-box tools I find it intuitive and gives me a good deal of control. With the other bonus that it is non destructive.

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Hey ! OMG !

That is amazing.

And was it hiding in plain sight all the time ? Just needed somebody with the past experiance and know how ? I am guessing that of course the whole thing can be re-cached out at the end for animation publishing and tidy housekeeping.

Thank you so much for this solution and taking the time to make the video. Perhaps it should be posted as its own subject now under Tips and Tricks ? There are so many uses for this of course. Not just cloth but editing of skinned and muscle simed characters too.

I am constantly amazed by what I dig up under the hood with Blender. I mentioned in a post above I recently discovered Blender had it’s own Maya Skin Wrap in the Data Transfer Modifier. It is just not well documented. Also I learned recently that the native auto rig system Rigify is totally modular and infinately adaptable and can be used to create meta bone templates and high quality rigs for just about anything you can think of. There is a guy CG Dive who made a great series of videos on it. Rig Anything With Rigify. Again before this video series, not well documented. But such a fantastic workflow and time saver.

I still wonder if it would be possible to write a keyable sculpt modifier at some point in the future that could just sit on top of an Alembic cache. Or even contain all of the animation cache within one shape key, But this solution looks great and is very easy to understand.

All the best

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Thanks for the feedback!

Great video series on Rigify. Thanks for that!

Yeah lots of uses for shape keys.

Excellent idea, thanks for sharing. It also works for interpolating the fix over several frames.

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Yeah, and actually, in effect with each new shape key it becomes a track so it becomes like a non-linear editor.

You can endlessly stack and mix fixes. And this of course is what Shape Keys are designed for (mixing shapes to make facial and other animation). I think the main thing here is turning any animation or dynamic simulation into Shape Keys is what opens the door to this as a solution.

Thank you NewTek and whoever wrote this addon.

I think this format is the only true living legacy that NewTek has left the 3D world. (other than old dinosaurs like me who haunt the forums…lol)

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But Light wave will always be a legend. Nothing will take that away or all of the amazing past work created with it and all of the history behind it. But it does seem quite poignant and a little bitter sweet now that a small part of the legacy of it is living and working on inside Blender and can still make these great things possible.

It was a pleasure to be able to pass on and recommend the CGDive Rig Anything with Rigify videos as well. It was such a revelation to me finding them recently. He also has a great little script on Blender Market for converting any Rigify Rig to be game engine ready. Although this can be done manually of course the script would be a massive time and error saver.

This was my quick simple test just to get the idea. Very crude but it was enough to quickly test out the feel and usability of it all. The saving and loading times were almost instantaneous on a scene as simple as this. Help! There is a ghost under the table cloth.

Many thanks again

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Yeah truly the independent spirit of LightWave lives on in Blender. Both figuratively and literally with many of the old die-hard LightWave users here now.

Back in the day, LightWave had this same attraction. Comparative to other solutions in the early 90s LightWave was for everyone. Not a select few with 6 figure budgets.

And that was revolutionary. And yeah lots of great work done with it over the years.

Blender carries that torch now.

So it’s kind of like .mdd is this little bit of DNA left over. Nice to see it become useful.

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This is so nice to hear. Lighwave was actually the first 3D app I ever tried and used but I quickly needed to move onto learning 3D Max as that was what the studio I started at was eventually using. I never understood why the renders were so much less pretty in Max. But I always kept tack of the Lightwave world and loved the independent can do culture around it.

I am thinking right now back to all of the amazing work for the Battlestar Galactica remake and for the Blood and Chrome macro series offshoot. I think one of the last big things I remember being done with it was Terra Nova. I think I remember reading way back that Robert Rodriguez set up a lightwave VFX studio in his basement for Spy Kids. Not sure if that is right or not ?

Lightwave artists tended to be very broad based and capable highly skilled versatile generalists as it was used so much by individuals and small studios and teams. It was such a fast and nimble affordable app that in skilled hands could be used to create work that could rival the bigger studios. It ruled in TV VFX for quite a few years didn’t it ?

It’s great to hear that Blender can be seen a natural successor to all of this. I think so much of this is about how good is good enough. Speed and usability are often overlooked in all this as well as an artists skill talent and versatility within a certain tool. But if course there is so much in Blender that is superb and is also innovating now in many areas. But often overlooked or not fully documented. Part of that I think is simply the speed at which things are moving now.

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In the midterm, something along those lines might end up being developed for the next open movie project after ‘Charge’ (a.k.a. project Heist). When and if it gets official.

greetings, Kologe

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Yep. LW ruled TV FX for a while. Not sure what Rodriquez did with LightWave but it was used by Cafe Fx for Sin City which he was a part of.

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