working in color sandstone questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LincolnK, May 23, 2012.

  1. LincolnK
    LincolnK New Member
    After seeing the full color sandstone in person at this year's Maker Faire I am really excited to make some stuff in it. It looked REALLY good.

    The first thing I want to make is a small figure. I looked at the material requirements, and it seems that the minimum for having arms coming out from the character would be 3mm.

    Let's say the character has its arm up like they are waving, so the arm is only connected to the body at the shoulder and has nothing else supporting it. Is 3mm thick going to be strong enough that I should not worry about the arm snapping off if the figure tipped over on a desk?

    Also, can the fingers on the hand go below 2mm since they are at the end of the hand?

    I have similar concerns about the legs. If the legs are not touching each other, and therefore are supporting the body only at the hips, is 3mm going to be ok?

    Also, has anyone here used this material from something they exported from Zbrush? I am wondering how I export the color maps.

    Thanks for any tips,


  2. OracleofWuffing
    OracleofWuffing New Member
    With arms, hands, and legs, it's going to depend on how long the limbs are. a 3mm diameter cylinder that's 3mm long is going to be less prone to break than one that's 30mm long. Similarly, how big the torso is in relation to the legs. It'd be easier to gauge feasibility if you had a quick sketch or an outline of what you're thinking of. At that scale, though, I would not suggest modeling individual fingers, but instead sculpt the indents between the fingers (kind of like this, but I presume you'll be going a bit more round than blocky).

    I have a few prints in FCS that were colored in ZBrush, but I believe that Shapeways has since improved their color processing and the colors are more vibrant nowadays. UV Master was an important plugin for me, and you basically want to get it into your workflow as soon as you have a loose low-polygon mesh. Yet more important would be the 3D Print Exporter, but there's a little quirk that it exports textures as bmp files. You'll have to convert the BMP to a PNG, GIF, or JPG after it's done exporting, and then open up the wrl file in a text editing program to make sure the file points to the new texture file you made. The Decimation Master can be helpful if you end up with too many polygons in your model (ZBrush tries to keep things in four-sided polygons, which will be converted to triangles, effectively doubling your polygon count in the end).
  3. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    Un-scientific observations below. My FCS items have been houses, etc. and I've not printed anything wth "arms".

    3mm arms are going to make your figure about 70mm tall. 3mm should be strong enough for it not to break if it falls over on your desk, but not a lot more than that.. it likely won't survive a 1 foot fall.

    No. Put mittens on. (grin) The production team will hold you to the 2mm thickness unless the fingers are shorter than 2mm long.

    That should be okay. It would be better if you made them a slight bit thicker.
  4. LincolnK
    LincolnK New Member
    Thanks for the feed back.

    @Oracle: The Zbrush process you mentioned sounds like a lot of hassle. :(

    I am starting to get a feeling there is going to be a lot of trial and error before I can get a usable file.

    I've used the 3d print exporter plug in many many times, but I always just exported to stl.


  5. OracleofWuffing
    OracleofWuffing New Member
    Welcome to the world of UV Maps. :laughing:

    Seriously, though, it's been a while since I did this, and I undoubtedly am making things sound more complicated than they really are. Here's the official videos for how to use UV Master, and to be honest, for really simple things, you can just listen to about 3 minutes of the "Getting Started" video to know all you need to know for the basics- more or less how to press the unwrap button. And when it comes time to export your file, just use the VRML button on 3D Print Exporter instead of using STL.

    If you could wait until I can get some folks out of the house, I might be able to make a quick and simple video on the process after I refresh myself on it a bit.
  6. LincolnK
    LincolnK New Member
    Thanks Oracle,

    The steps you describe after exporting the VRML sound more unpleasant than the UV mapping.

    I looked online and couldn't find a tutorial for what we have to do to get the VRML to work with SW.

    If you have time to put one together, that would be great of you!


  7. OracleofWuffing
    OracleofWuffing New Member
    Here you go. I'm sorry if I sound a bit rushed on this, I've been having a bit of a busy day. :p
  8. LincolnK
    LincolnK New Member
    Thanks for doing that! That was really cool of you. :)

    I've been looking at the instruction page on SW, and it looks like you can paint vertices, or at least if different objects are put together as one object, they can each be a different color.

    Is that true?

  9. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    Yes. Depending upon the software you're using you can paint Vertices or Faces, and/or apply textures (pictures) to surfaces.

    This actually printed up just as you see it here:
    (Funny thing.. the image is reversed on the back side :) )

    Be careful when trying to combine two shells with different colors. If you don't union the shells together first, then MeshMedic may combine the shells in a manner you didn't expect.. and give you what you consider incorrect coloring.

    Union the shells together on your own so that you can see and correct any odd effects before you upload it.
  10. LincolnK
    LincolnK New Member
    Thanks Stonysmith,

    So, if you just paint verts and don't use UV's, do you have to export a texture map at all, or does X3d recognize the colored verts?

    Anyone use Blender to make color sandstone? I'd love to figure out where my texture map is so I can zip it with the x3d.

  11. Brian123
    Brian123 New Member
    ZBrush has made it possible to completely skip UVs, even with its new easy to use UV tools, there's no point sometimes.

    Shapeways seems to support vertex coloring with VRML files now. But you might ask, a polypaint object in ZBrush is usually millions of polygons, which isn't supported.

    Well, Decimation Master has a nice feature, keep and use polypaint. You turn it on in the preferences menu for decimation master. Then go to the ZPlugin menu to use it.

    What it does is it will calculate the decimation to keep enough vertices where needed to maintain the detail in polypaint.

    Of course, if your polypaint is detailed down to the last vertex, then it doesn't have much room to play with.

    I love this feature because it allows me to use Dynamesh in ZBrush to create shells without worrying about the texture.

    Here's a model of mine that has no textures:

    Here's a detailed image showing the mesh and poly count after decimation using polypaint: 720&private=0
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012