GS CurveTools v1.3 - Maya Plug-in. Curve Controlled Hair Cards, Pipes and more.

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GS CurveTools v1.3 plug-in for Autodesk Maya

New Major Update is here!

Main features quick overview (3-minute trailer):

FULL DOCUMENTATION: 

  • If you wish to read the full detailed documentation - the links are in the description of my YouTube video trailer.

DESCRIPTION:

GS CurveTools is a powerful tool for creation and manipulation of geometry cards and tubes (Curve Cards and Curve Tubes). GS CurveTools can be used in numerous workflows, from hair card creation to creation of complex procedural braided cables and much more.

The main power of GS CurveTools is its ability to quickly create complex network of nodes, tailored for fast and procedural manipulation of geometry in a smooth and natural way.

One of the main focuses of GS CurveTools is Hair Cards workflow. Almost every game out there uses some form of hair cards to create complex and beautiful hair styles for its main characters. To be able to quickly create new hair cards, convert curves to hair cards and quickly change its parameters is very important part of GS CurveTools workflow.

BLOG POSTS:

MAIN FEATURES:

  • Full support of High DPI resolutions (from 1080p to 4k+).
  • Fast creation of procedural geometry cards and tubes.
  • Conversion of already existing curves to curve cards/tubes.
  • Ability to quickly populate empty spaces between curves with new curve cards/tubes.
  • Advanced control over geometry. Twist and change Width at any point on the curve!
  • Combine multiple cards and tubes and control them with one curve using Warp function.
  • Intuitive and fast controls for created curves.
  • Powerful layer system for create curves/tubes.
  • Fast selection and grouping of curves.
  • Transfer of attributes and UVs between curve cards.
  • Interactive rebuild of existing curves for additional complexity or vice versa, to simplify control.
  • Duplicate entire network of curves with one button.
  • Randomize created curves to add realism.
  • Smooth/Extend/Reduce created curves.
  • Control multiple curves with Control Curve deformer.
  • Custom window for all curve controls.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTALLATION GUIDE: LINK

INSTALLATION VIDEO:

RECOMMENDED MAYA VERSIONS:

  • 2018.6
  • 2019.3
  • 2019.3.1
  • (2020.4)*
  • 2022.3
  • 2022.4
  • 2023.0
  • 2023.1
  • 2023.2
  • 2023.3
  • 2024+

*Maya 2020.4 has a native bug with width and twist graphs that can’t be fixed on my end. Only Autodesk could fix that, but they didn’t. In general, Maya 2020 is NOT recommended if you have other options.

COMPATIBILITY:

  • MAYA LT is NOT supported.
  • Tested and supported: Maya 2018-2024 for Windows*
  • In Beta: Maya 2014-2024 for Mac*
  • NOT SUPPORTED: Linux and Maya LT.
  • Maya 2017 should work, but it will have no support or bug fixes

* Please use the latest patches if possible. For example: Maya 2018.1 has issues that were fixed in the latest 2018.6 and are essential for GS CurveTools functionality. Thank you!

UPDATE INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Delete the old gs_curvetools folder and replace it with the new one.
  2. Repeat the installation steps.

UPDATE PRICE:

All future updates are free!

LONG AND DETAILED VIDEOS FOR EACH UPDATE:

V1.3.3 New Features:


V1.3.2 New Features:

V1.3 New Features:

V1.2 New Features:

V1.1 New Features:

V1.0 Full Tutorial:


Release Notes

VERSION 1.3.4:

IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Added tooltips to Scale Factor and Precision window and all the controls.
  • Normalize to Default will now reset the sliders even if no curves were selected in the viewport.

BUG FIXES:

  • Fixed Layer color picker in the Curve Control Window. It will now change layer color properly.
  • Fixed tooltips for all the color pickers in the UI (UV Editor and Curve Control Window).

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VERSION 1.3.3:

IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Much less geometry deformation and distortion for new Warp Cards, Tubes and Bind objects when scaling them down to very small scales (like for brows, eyelashes etc.). Improved geometry precision and stability overall.
  • An option to change the new Precision Scale value in the Scale Factor and Precision window.
  • An option to normalize the Scale Factor and Precision Scale of the selected Warp Cards, Tubes or Bind objects to the chosen slider values or to default recommended values (Scale Factor = 0.5, Precision Scale = 0.05). Buttons are found in the Scale Factor and Precision window. Also works on Cards, Tubes and Bind objects from older updates.
  • Add Card, Add Tube and Fill functions will now use the new Precision Scale and normalize the selected Warp Cards, Tubes or Bind objects before performing the operation. This ensures that no matter the initial scale or scale factor of the selected curves, the function will result in a consistent widths and profiles for the new objects. Works on objects from older updates as well.
  • Rebuild slider will now work properly on small scale curves.
  • New objects should now be able to create more sharp corners when three or more CVs are bunched together.

DEPRECATION:

  • Smooth slider was removed from the “Other” tab in the Curve Control Window (don’t confuse with the Smooth function from the main window, it’s still there). It was removed because it interfered with the new precision options. There is an option in the Options ⇨ Other menu to reset the smooth value to 0 if needed for older projects.

BUG FIXES:

  • Mirror will now work properly on Tube objects
  • Opening Log file will no longer block Maya until the log is closed.

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VERSION 1.3.2 - Hotfix 2:

BUG FIXES:

  • Using Curve Card and Curve Tube on duplicated and unparented curves will not throw and error anymore.
  • Other minor related fixes.

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VERSION 1.3.2 - Hotfix 1:

IMPROVEMENTS:

  • UV Editor now supports Ambient Color plug when searching for color textures. This should improve compatibility with some external tools that use this configuration.

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VERSION 1.3.2

IMPORTANT: This update requires full re-install of gs_curvetools:

  1. Close Maya and delete the old gs_curvetools folder
  2. Follow the installation steps as if installing for the first time: https://gs-curvetools.rtfd.io/en/latest/installation.html

NEW FEATURES:

  • New Unpack function. Unpack function allows to recreate the original objects (cards or tubes) from the Bound object and place them in the exact same position as they are currently placed with all the deformations and world position. Accessed by selecting the Bound object and Shift+Clicking on Unbind button.
  • New Auto-Sampling toggle attribute that will automatically increase sampling rate for Warp based objects on low CV counts. This allows for optimal performance on high CV counts and good accuracy on low CV counts.
  • New Duplicate and Unparent Curves utility function (in the Options ⇨ Utility) that will duplicate curves and unparent them (parent them to the world). This is useful when you need to export only curves without construction history, or if you need the curves for something else in the scene.

IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Geo to Curve (previously Card to Curve) now supports tube shapes for the original geometry as well as Auto Mode. Auto Mode will automatically determine if the target geometry is a curve or a tube and create the procedural objects accordingly.
  • Geo to Curve can now automatically delete the original objects after the conversion (optional).
  • Geo to Curve can now use Aim Mesh to determine the correct position of the root CV after the conversion.
  • Geo to Curve algorithm was greatly improved. UVs adjustment and placement is much more precise now. Width calculation is now more accurate.
  • UV Editor now supports Maya 2024 Standard Surface material.
  • UV Editor internal texture search was improved. Shader graphs can now have nodes between the texture file and material nodes (for example color correction nodes etc.)
  • Fill can now create curves without the geometry as an option. The option is toggled in the Options menu.
  • Rebuild Curve slider now has limited support for curves with construction history. The slider will rebuild them, but the preview will not be shown for those curves.
  • A lot of internal code changes to improve future features.

BUG FIXES:

  • Fixed a bug with Curve Tubes (warp) not scaling properly with high WidthX or WidthZ values.
  • Fixed a bug with Auto-Hide Curves on Inactive Collections checkbox. It will now work properly with Layer filters.
  • GS CurveTools will now automatically load built-in Maya plug-ins that it needs. If user disabled those plug-ins in the past it should not cause errors now. For now it’s “curveWarp” and “lookdevKit” plug-ins that are required.

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VERSION 1.3.1

IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Changed node id in plug-ins for a proper one from Autodesk. Should avoid conflicts with other plug-ins in the future.
  • Better error handling and error message for corrupted layer names (copy-pasted curves or improperly imported curves).

BUG FIXES:

  • Fixed a critical bug with Attribute and UV transfer (and Copy-Paste) filters. They will now work properly when deselecting some attributes in filter window and transferring attributes to different type of card/tube.

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VERSION 1.3 HOTFIX

BUG FIXES:

  • Fixed an issue with Maya 2018-2020 error when clicking on layer Filters

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VERSION 1.3 MAJOR UPDATE

IMPORTANT: This update requires full re-install of gs_curvetools:

  1. Close Maya and delete the old gs_curvetools folder
  2. Follow the installation steps as if installing for the first time: https://gs-curvetools.rtfd.io/en/latest/installation.html

NEW FEATURES:

  • New Layer Collections System. Layer collections allow users to better organize their projects, import curves to a new collection to avoid layer merging, transfer curves between collections and more useful utility features:
    • Create and Delete collections.
    • Merge, copy, paste, rename and reorder layer collections.
    • Clear all the curves from the collection.
    • Auto-Hide curves from inactive layer collections.
    • Using Ctrl hotkey with layer filters (All, Curve, Geo) will affect all layers in all collections.
  • Fully reworked Color Mode:
    • User can now work in color mode at all times if he chooses. Duplicate, Fill and other features will not disable the color mode.
    • Activating color mode will now colorize only the diffuse map and will keep the alpha transparency.
    • Alpha transparency can be optionally disabled.
    • Checker pattern is available for both modes.
    • All the previous features are still available like curve color sync, color randomization and custom colors for each layer.
    • UV editor will properly work with color mode enabled.
  • New Advanced Visibility mode in Curve Control Window:
    • Geometry Highlight option will highlight the geometry component automatically for better card visibility.
    • Curve Highlight will enable selected curves and CVs to be drawn Always-On-Top with various customizations available.
    • CVs - size, selected/deselected colors and transparency with soft select support.
    • Curve - enabled/disable highlight, curve width, curve color and transparency.
    • Hull - enable/disable hull drawing (lines between CVs) with width, curve color and transparency customization and soft selection support.
    • Other advanced options like Distance Colors and Occlusion.
  • New Dynamic Length Divisions toggle. With this option enabled, curves will now auto-calculate the appropriate number of divisions based on the length of the curve. L-Div slider will act as a “Density” slider when this option is enabled. The higher the L-Div value, the denser the auto-calculated divisions will be. Old cards will be auto-converted to use this mode. New cards are automatically created with this option (disabled by default).
  • New Card to Curve algorithm. Card to curve now has the ability to automatically create cards and match their parameters to the original one-sided geometry card. Card to Curve button will now open a separate window with various options available:
    • Output Type will control the desired output of the operation - Cards or Curves Only.
    • Card Type will determine the final card variant - Warp or Extrude.
    • Match Attributes selector will toggle the attributes matching for newly created cards (Orientation, Width, etc.)
    • UV Match Options have optional post-process commands as Vertical and Horizontal Flip.
    • Reverse curve will reverse the final curve direction (enabled by default for better result).
    • NOTE: matching parameters is not a perfect process and resulting procedural cards might have slightly different shape.
  • Copy and Paste Attributes and UVs. Attributes and UVs can now be copied and pasted from card to card (or many cards) as an alternative to the old Transfer Attr. and UV commands. Copy-Paste functions can be accessed by holding RMB on Transfer Attr. or Transfer UVs. button.
  • Transfer (and copy-paste) attribute filter. User can now choose which attributes to transfer when using Transfer Attr. or Copy-Paste commands. Attribute filters can be accessed through the Transfer Attr. (or Transfer UVs) button marking menu by holding RMB on those buttons. Option rectangle ▢ near the Copy-Paste buttons will open the filter menu. Highlighted attributes will be transferred and unchecked will be ignored. Orientation attribute is unchecked by default.
  • New Randomize Selection slider inside Randomize window. Will randomize current selection based on the slider value.
  • Select Original Curves command will select the original curves that were used to create bound object. This allows for easy modification of the basic parameters, such as Orientation, Twist etc.
  • Auto-Refine. Refine slider was reworked and now has Auto mode enabled by default. This allows for much better overall viewport performance of the cards but may result in a less precise geometry fit to the curve. Can always be disabled to have the original control over the Refine parameter.
  • UV Editor Sync Selection. This button will change the viewport selection based on the selected UV rectangle inside the UV Editor.
  • UV Editor Randomize function. This button will randomize the positions of the selected UV rectangles based on their original position. The UV rectangles will jump between these original positions in a random order but will keep the original density distribution (meaning if you had 3 cards in one position and 6 in the other, they will still have this 3-6 distribution). Alternative mode (holding SHIFT during click) will ignore the density distribution and randomize.
  • UV Editor Additional Options:
    • Alpha only mode - show only alpha map in the UV editor for better contrast and editing experience.
    • UV rectangle color customization: selected, fill and border.
  • Rebuild Curve slider now has Rebuild with current value button [R] and reset slider range button.
  • Custom Delete Curve Hotkey was added to the hotkeys list. This delete command should be able to safely delete selected curves without the need to switch to the group selection first.

IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Even more layers available. Number of active layers can now be up to 80. User can optionally change layer number to be 20, 30, 40, 60 and 80!
  • Layer customization windows was updated to make use of additional layers.
  • New projects will now use the updated layer system that will not clutter the Display Layer window in the Channel Box. All the layers are still there and accessible through the Window->Relationship Editors->Display Layers. User can manually update old layer system to the new one using Options->Other Options->Convert to New Layer System.
  • Layer Hotkeys (key combinations) were slightly changed:
    • Show Always On Top is now SHIFT+CTRL+ALT+Click
    • Toggle Geometry Visibility is now CTRL+ALT+Click
  • Import and Export curves will now use its own file extension “.curves” to easily distinguish them from regular maya “.ma” files. User can still save and import “.ma” files as an option.
  • Extract Selected and Extract All buttons have new key modifier available - Ctrl. Holding Ctrl will automatically open Export window after the extraction process is finished and after exporting the geometry the extracted geo will be deleted from the scene. Holding Ctrl will also disable layer hide feature during Extract All process.
  • Bind, Unbind and Mirror will now flip the UVs before performing the operation to achieve better results. This is optional and can be disable in the options.
  • Options Menu was reordered and compressed to have better visibility and organization.
  • UVs will now be properly transferred form and to Bound geometry.
  • User can now open the log file using Help->Open Log File (Windows only) in case of any errors.

BUG FIXES:

  • Unbind command was fixed for Maya 2021+. Unbind was failing on bound objects with warp curves in the scene that was saved and reloaded.
  • A bug that caused objects to be duplicated twice when clicking the “Duplicate” button has been fixed. Duplicate button should now be more consistent.
  • Fixed Axis Flip and Axis Direction parameters update in Curve Control Window.
For Personal Use
$24.99
License: Standard License
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For personal use and one commercial project (up to 2,000 sales or 20,000 views).

Tutorials

One copy to be used by a single user.

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For Studio Use (2-9)
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License: Extended Commercial License
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gs_curvetools_v1_3_4_Studio
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For Studio Use (10+)
$199.99
License: Extended Commercial License
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For use on an unlimited number of commercial projects with no limits on sales or views.

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For studios with 10+ employees. One seat license. Perpetual. Read MoreRead Less
Files (4)
gs_curvetools_v1_3_4_Studio
zip /
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old_studio_versions
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installation
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documentation-link
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