cmiVFX Launches Softimage Video: ICE: Scalar Data
November 24, 2009

cmiVFX Launches Softimage Video: ICE: Scalar Data

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - cmiVFX | cmiStudios has launched a brand new video for Softimage titled, "ICE Scalar Data." Within this training video, Thiago Costa explores the development of a tool set that deals with scalar data in ICE, by showing it in the context of a weight map tool.
He will guide you through his exploration process and implementation of how to use per-point values to capture and store data between different sources, to diffuse data across the mesh, work with time information and much more.

This training video takes focus on this specific tool set that goes from the basic to intermediate level of how to build an ICE system. The tips and tricks presented on this video can be explored at many levels within other ICE systems which makes it useful for a wide range of Softimage ICE users. The video is now available from the cmiVFX Video Player Online Store.

Softimage - ICE: Scalar Data

Experimenting with different setups and finding the limits of developing such a system is the goal of this lesson. The author presents many different uses/tests done with very simple graphs that might influce the way the rest of the work is developed.

Initializing Data
This lesson will show how to initialize scalar data in an object, and how that compares to the way the standard WeightMap tool works in XSI. We try to mimic the initialization of such a tool in ICE.

Display Data
Using a standard Weightmap we will display the ICE data created in the pevious lesson. This explores the concept of computing data in ICE, and displaying/connecting to non-ICE features in XSI.

Improving The Base
This lesson we explore the first flaws on the basic level of the system, and how to solve them to guarantee a better environment to further develop the tool. By doing such abstractions now, we will be able to expand the system in the future by thinking of the global aspect of the tool from the ground up.

Distance From Null
Using the length property of a vector we will create a soft distance field from a null center and use that to build the system foundation of changing values in the pointset.

Implementing Features
We identify the features needed on the previous node and start working on that. We will see how to add a Motion Sensivity term to activate the painting as well as sharpness control.

Mess With Time
This lesson goes into understanding how time works and how we can use time to gradually control the gradual decay of the values stored in the surface of a mesh.

We explore how to propagate the values through the mesh points by adding a few terms to control the speed propagation and the logic that distributes and blends value between neighboring points. The addition of this feature makes it possible to many different effects in the same tool.

Distance From Geometry
We basically get all we have done, and expand the system to interact with polymeshes and particles. By changing very few things in the Distance from Null node we finish with a very flexible system!