Making Rope

 From:  jbshorty
1972.11 In reply to 1972.10 
Hi Brian. It still doesn't make sense to model rope. It is so easy with displacement, both for faking the geometry AND for texturing. If you physically model a rope will be very heavy (especially modeled in NURBS then converted to polys). And then you still have the issue of needing to create a dirty texture map to match perfectly with the shape. You could bake an AO texture, but it would require a very large texture map because of the rope length. If you made a simple polygon tube, then you only have to make a small texture map for displacement, repeat it several hundred times along the rope, and use the same displacement map as the dirt map for your shader!

I just dug up these old examples I made about 6 months ago. A Rhino-Modo user was trying to model rebar for an architectural rendering. I thought he was crazy and suggested he use displacement. These were simple pipes, modeled in Rhino and displaced in Modo. You get significantly better results if you have an all quad mesh. In Rhino, I have a method for extracting perfect (subd-ready) quad mesh pipes. But for the purpose of making an example (the bent pipe) i wanted to try with a mesh as they're typically exported from Rhino. You can see there is a bit of choppiness caused by the triangulated mesh topology. But on the example of straight rebar, that one was a perfect quad mesh and of course the resulting displacement is much smoother (and using less intensive displacement setttings). Now you can try these 2 displacement maps and see what results you can get. If you make an all quad tube in your subd modeler of choice, I am sure it will displace a bit better than an exported tube from MoI. Also it will be much easier to create texture maps...

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