mcjIsoSurface DS3 DS4.5+ PC 32/64bit

Introduction


mcjIsosurface is a plugin for Daz Studio version 3 


THIS WAY FOR THE IRAY-Compatible BETA 4 August 2 2015


NEW in 2015 : there's a new version for DS4.5, 4.7 4.8

Note : IRay doesn't render the meta-objects
but you can use mcjMetaDump to save the metaobject as an obj file
then import and render it just like any other object!


Once installed the "Create" menu of Daz studio has a new item named "new mcjIsosurface"

General definition of an isosurface: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isosurface

To reduce the load on your computer resources, the mcjIsosurface can only
exist in a cubic section of space which we will call the domain

The shape of the mcjIsosurface is influenced by objects which we will call metaballs or meta-primitives


YouTube Video





Installation


The installation files are located at the bottom of the web page:

mcjisosurface3_32bit.zip contains the plugin for Daz Studio 3 for Windows (PC)  32-bit
(mcjisosurface3_32bit.dll)
it should be unzipped in your Daz Studio plugins folder
on a typical installation this means C:\Program Files\DAZ 3D\DAZStudio3\plugins

mcjisosurface3_64bit.zip
contains the plugin for Daz Daz Studio 3 for Windows (PC)  64-bit
(mcjisosurface3_64bit.dll)
it should be unzipped in your Daz Studio plugins folder
on a typical installation this means C:\Program Files\DAZ 3D\DAZStudio3\plugins

if you did this properly, your Daz Studio will now have a "Create" "mcjIsosurface3" menu item

if someday for unknown reason your Daz studio seems to freeze when
opening scene  files containing Isosurfaces you could  try to delete the plugin
file (mcjIsosurface3_XXbit.dll) or just move it away from the plugin folder. If it still crashes
it means it's not related to this plugin. Another warning: This plugin is really
demanding on your computer resources, so it's better to save your scenes often
in case it crashes!.


mcjIsosurfacePlugin3_Manual.zip contains a copy of the wen page you are currently reading
unzip it where you please and open index.html in your browser to view it

mcjIsosurfacePlugin3_Scripts.zip contains two scripts ( mcjMetaConsole  and mcjMetaDump )
unzip this file in your Daz Studio Content folder, typically this means C:\Program Files\DAZ\Studio\content
if you did this properly the scripts will be in the Studio/Scripts/mcasual section of your Daz Studio library




Adding the Isosurface to the scene

we use Daz Studio's menu and do a "Create"  "new mcjIsosurface"

the white cube is the aforementioned domain







Adding meta-primitives to the Isosurface

if you installed the package properly, you should find a script named
mcjMetaConsole in your Daz Studio library, in the Studio/Scripts/mcasual section

the icon for the script looks like this



here is the mcjMetaConsole




click on the Accept button to add  metaball to the scene

( note to advanced users : you could "manually" create a metaball by creating a Null and naming it "metaball 0" or "metaball 1" etc ... )

here is metaball 0 ( or rather the isosurface letting us visualize the presence of metaball 0 )



if you select metaball 0 and go in the Parameters tab of  you can change the ball's radius using the "X Scale" slider



reate a second metaball ( metaball 1) using mcjMetaConsole

move the two metaballs apart

there's now 2 metaballs,

imagine that each metaball has a temperature of 100 degrees

the isosurface is like a skin that covers the area in space where the temperature is 50 degrees


note to advanced users : you can manually create a metaball by creating a Null, and naming it exactly
"metaball 0", metaball 1" etc ...



The Other meta-primitives

Below you will find the 12 other meta-primitives that can be added using mcjMetaConsole

Some of those shapes are influenced by their respective XScale , YScale , ZScale and Thick
parameters ( see the parameters tab )





metaplane


metacylinder


metatorus


metatube


metastick


metadome


metadisc


metasphere


metacube


metawalls


metacup


metanuball





The Isosurface Display Options

If you select the mcjIsosurface node in your scene and go in the Parameters tab
you will find the following options


Resolution:
increasing the resolution improves smoothness and precision of the displayed/rendered isosurface
but it will considerably slow down the rendering, display, and editing of your scene
You will want to keep resolution at 1 or 2 while working on your scene, and
increase it to, say, 4 at render time, then bring it back to 1 or 2 when you're done.

( a setting of 8 means the domain is subdivided into 256x256x256 cubes ...  that's 16 million cubes )

Show Domain Box
Show/Hide the isosurface's domain box in the 3D viewport and in the hardware renders
thw domain box is not rendered in software renders


Render Wireframe
Show/Hide the wireframe.
Only applicable to the 3D viewport and in the hardware renders.

Wireframe Width
the width of the "oen" used to draw the wireframe, in pixels.

Render Faces
Show/Hide the triangular faces that make up the isosurface.
Only applicable to the 3D viewport and in the hardware renders.






The Isosurface Materials

The isosurface has two materials attached to it, one for the wireframe and one for the faces

a special treatment makes it possible to get a mirror effect in your hardware renders !!!

just set an image in the Reflection channel of the material


that's a hardware render



Some Shaders like the Velvet shader and Chrome shaders amd Supershiny filters were used with success

when you render with a mirror ( reflection ) material, it's important to set the "strength" to, say, 100%

you will probably have to turn down Diffuse Color Strength nd Ambient Strength to 0%

software render




Exporting the Isosurface as a wavefront ( .obj ) file

The zip package below also contains a Daz Script named mcjMetaDump
if the installation went well, it will be found in Studio/Scripts/mcasual



Select the Isosurface using Daz Studio's Scene Tab and launch mcjMetaDump
Specify the destination folder and filename, using the browse button
Press the "Do it" button
wait
press the Exit button

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