IFS Edit
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Someone asked how to use the Index Face Set editor functions in Flux Studio. Specifically, they asked how to make a "ground" with an IFS. This is the technique that I have figured out.

First, I use the sculpted surface icon to make a "sheet". Make a line say going from 10 meters to the left, to 10 meters to the right. When you hit the "thumbs up" button a second line is created which can be translated any distance from the first line. You can do this by selecting the edit spine check box, then translating the active spine up or down a distance. You may need to rotate the sheet so that it is oriented with the ground plane (uh, Z).

sheet.png (21734 bytes)

Then, go to the Edit menu and select convert to Index Face Set. Now you have something that the IFS editor can work on. Double click on that surface and in the properties window select IFS edit.

Select Refine several times to bust that IFS into many triangles. The number of times depends on how smoothly you want the surface to be deformed.

sheet_refined.png (25079 bytes)

OK, then select the Enable Sphere of Influence check box. This will create a Sphere which you will use to "deform" the surface. You can select the "Edit Just the Sphere" radio button to change the size and location of the editing sphere. I tend to make it smaller than the default size and them position the sphere towards the outer edge of the sheet. I do this by selecting the scale and translate tabs while just having the Edit Sphere option selected.

Then I select the other radio button; Edit the IFS. This means that when you drag up the sphere, the surface will drag up with it. You might notice the Shape indicator button and slider. This effects the curvature of the deformation. I prefer to make it less angular, but the setting depends on what your goal is. [Try moving the slider to see what the shape becomes.]

ifs_edit_prop.png (8866 bytes)

OK, so you are still in the IFS edit mode, go to the Top View window, and drag and click on the sphere to move it up from the surface. Behold, parts of the sheet drag up! Just do this a little (don't get carried away).

sheet_sphere.png (31675 bytes)

OK, if you click the "edit just the sphere" radio button again, you will find that you can reposition the editing sphere to a new area (try moving it to the opposite corner). Then click edit the IFS and drag the sphere up again. OK, we are making mountains now!

sheet_deformed.png (36771 bytes)

Experiment with larger and smaller sphere sizes, try smaller deformations on top of prior deformations. You will see that you can now make a very complicated surface form a simple plane.

While this technique is not as efficient as using an VRML Elevation Grid, it does make a very effective landscape. [A VRML Elevation Grid stores only a base X & Z and then a bunch of Y values. The IFS grid stores an X, Y & Z for each point.]

Here is an example where I used this kind of ground for an avatar display window.



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