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Vizfizz
02-13-2006, 01:26 PM
This is a continuation of the old Mrs. Bebel thread...

Single Plug versus Multiple Plugs:

Ok, I'm not the engineer, but I don't see why a single plug can't handle all these functions, but I'll run with it. Providing a "suite" of plugins that accomplish modeling tasks that are unified in interface will do. I suggested combining Mrs. Bebel and Mr. Revolver, and who ever else, into a single plug because I think it would make for a better marketing platform. You're worried about it being too "simple" or "not featured enough"... combining plugs to make a complete "sub modeler" within animator would be more appealing. Just my opinion.

Suggestions for Mr. Revolver (and yes, Mrs. Bebel too) are:

- it looks like Mrs but graph is revolved (internal, the plugin builds cross-section itself)

Agreed. Having the plugin build the cross section is good and it should be capable of saving out cross sections for a later session so it can be easily transferred to a different file. However, if you do this...and you should, the plugin must contain some level of sophistication in the cross section making process. The reason why I liked .eps import capabilities is because of all the alignment, kerning, and various spline tools that a robust 2d vector program offers. Mrs. Bebel's current graph is too primitive and if I'm not mistaken, there are no snapping tools for the graph. The graph's grid resolution should be definable and there should be a method to import a "back plane" into the grid's background that can contain an image so users can draw their cross sections to a visual template.

- Internal cross sections must be spline based in nature. Simple linear construction lines will not be suffient. Bezier style is preferred.

- The revolve axis must be user definable.

- Multiple splines must be supported in a single pass and each spline creates its own mesh. This is to allow the resulting mesh to be constructed in componets for separate texturing and model alignment purposes. The beauty of invigorator was the ability to turn on and off eps entities and extrude only the ones desired at the time.

- Mrs Bebel should posses the same ability to create internal cross sections for extruding and beveling.

Child cross sections:

Agreed. Children parented to the plugin would support outside geometry entities for revolving (For Mr) and extruding, lofting and beveling (for Mrs).

Mrs. Bebel's children, if they are outlines (whether open or closed) , are capable of being lofted (for non uniform geoemtry) or extruded (for uniform geometry). Scaling, translating or rotating cross sections for animation purposes is supported.

Igors: How about this: for each child group the plug-in finds/scans particle lines that are used as a "revolve contour" (we are not familiar with terms). If child group(s) has polygon geometry, the plugin scans opened edges and uses them as a contour.

I'm fine with that if its a simple solution. This scanning process should not be easily "confused" when finding an edge.



More forthcoming.

Igors
02-13-2006, 03:38 PM
Hi, Brian

You've touched very interesting (for us) theme, so, maybe this our article is a bit "OT"

>> - Internal cross sections must be spline based in nature. Simple linear construction lines will not be suffient. Bezier style is preferred. <<

NO (btw: we heard this request almost 5 years ago from the artist whose opinion we appreciate very much)

The proposed feature looks absolute undoubted, but there are no more powerful killers of good prj/ideas like that. It works like a detonator of "chain reaction": new and new requests follow immediately after first one is done.

Step 1

"Ahhaa.. Bezier curves are here.. well-well, but why I can't create multiply curves? Bad-bad, without them the product is "definetely" unusable!".

Step 2

"Ahhaa...These guys have done what I said, hehe.. artists know well what tool they need! But.. where are curves' booleans ??? Noooo..."

....

Step N

"Hmmm... I've no enthusiasm .. Their editor has a lot of options, need to spend my time for learning (you know I'm busy with rush prj). Also I heard people told that something isn't enough functional in this plug... Ah, already fixed, ok-ok. After all I've others (free) programs to draw curves, so..."

Of course, all text above is only a programmer's nightmare, never happens in real life :D

3DArtZ
02-13-2006, 03:54 PM
How about "Mr.Revo"? It's catchy and people will remember it!


I can't believe that the potential for such a plugin is being seriously discussed!
This is so wonderful, and I really want this to succeed.
Other than that, I don't know what else to suggest other than what's been suggested thus far.

I so like the idea of being able to bring an image in to help draw lines directly in EI.....

Oh Boy!!!

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com (http://www.3dartz.com)

Vizfizz
02-13-2006, 04:31 PM
Igors,

Ok.. the language barrier is getting a little in the way for me. Was your last exchange trying to say that you wont try to support beziers or at least some method of drawing curved lines within the cross section editor?

If we work together, we can establish a list of features that will meet the majority of needs out there for the average user. I'm listing everything because right now, because I don't know where to draw the line and stop. I'll try making a definitive list of features I would like to see in Mrs. Bebel and Mr. Revolver have that you can say yes or no too. Once my list is up, give other users the opportunity to put their input in too and then we can work out a final list of features. That list will be final for the initial release of the plugin. No more features until the next version...

Igors
02-13-2006, 08:06 PM
Ok.. the language barrier is getting a little in the way for me. Was your last exchange trying to say that you wont try to support beziers or at least some method of drawing curved lines within the cross section editor?

We'll NOT try to support beziers/curves because we know well: this way has no end. That's one of lessons each developer learns very soon (typically in his first product). We can explain more details why this request is refused (if it's interested)


If we work together, we can establish a list of features that will meet the majority of needs out there for the average user. I'm listing everything because right now, because I don't know where to draw the line and stop. I'll try making a definitive list of features I would like to see in Mrs. Bebel and Mr. Revolver have that you can say yes or no too. Once my list is up, give other users the opportunity to put their input in too and then we can work out a final list of features. That list will be final for the initial release of the plugin. No more features until the next version...

In real work a most of features are refused and only a little part is implemented in product. Be sure that for many and many propositions we'll say "no" - simply cause each program is based on practice and realism.

We write programs for different clients and not near always we are happy from what we wrote. But client is client: he pays his money, he was informed about our opinion and he still insists - no probs, let he receives what he wants, that's his affair. But if we plan a program to sell - it should be viable, thus anything "not enough viable" cannot be accepted, sorry

Vizfizz
02-13-2006, 08:52 PM
Igors,

Ok.. so you're denying .EPS, I'm assuming its because it contains bezier splines, which I also know aren't the most friendly thing to use when modeling. Ok. No problem. No beziers... but we need a way to draw curved lines in the cross section editor. Nurbs perhaps? I just want to emphasize that smooth curved lines are necessary from an artist's point of view.

I'm willing to negotiate the "no's" we will encounter because you are writing this software to sell to the general public. You do have your interests to look after. However, if you say no just out of a lack of concern for what the artist needs, you're being inflexible. We too must be willing to listen to what the engineers say is possible, impossible, or just time consuming and inconvient. If its just time consuming and inconvient, we're just gonna have to agree to work through it.

I'll be getting you that features list soon.

Igors
02-13-2006, 11:28 PM
Hi, Brian

Igors,
However, if you say no just out of a lack of concern for what the artist needs, you're being inflexible.

Our "no" is the result of enough careful thinking/learning (in past and now), it's not a momentary answer. More details:

The proposed feature pretends to: "you can create/edit your curves without jumps between apps!". And if so we must provide 2d curves editor that's not worse than others. Not a convenient position, sure! Our "opponents" have done their editors long ago, they have experience, we are only starting. Each our mistake/blunder is noticeable immediately, each our success is only "that was". More and more editing options will be requested (like we wrote in our previous post). Cause 2d spline editors are very popular. We'll be looked badly if we ignore these requests: we must to say "B" if we said "A" (promised to edit here).

Ok, imagine after long efforts we nevertheless proved we are cool guys :), and, yes, the graph curve editor is here. But it's not all yet. The curve spline should be transformed into a chain of points to revolve (that's a polygon tool, not a nurbs). So, most probably we'll need options like "adaptive/uniformed" tesselation. But "adaptive" produces unstable animation, "uniformed" - tons of geometry (note that actual simple Mrs graph has not such problem).

Let's back to our brave declaration "you can create/edit your curves without jumps between apps!". Yes, it's attractive, but.. absolute not for all. There are another category of people (count us) that would say: "I see your editor and maybe it's good. But I prefer to jump into my favorite <program name> where I can do absolute all I want in few minutes. Yes, I spend some time for re-import, it's not a catastrophe". And this user is right too.

So, what we've achieved? Looks like not too much. The product is now more powerful? Yes. But same time it's more complex (with our cool curve editor). People love simple and intuitive products, often it's better to have less features but save simplicity.

Ok, we hope we said enough to explain our "NO", let's talk about other things.

We've noticed a some "side" effect. You and we discuss Mrs, and.. almost nothing about extrusion itself (but a lot about EPS). Same here: yes, curve edition is important, but in any case it's auxiliary/side task, the main is revolving. So, how about to concentrate on interesting, usable revolving?

And another one: for each start it's very important (or even necessary) to get first results ASAP, often this first little success solves will prj live or nope.

Vizfizz
02-14-2006, 01:14 AM
Sounds good to me guys. I'm fine with all of that. Maybe while you're working on it, you'll find it easier than you realized. Still working on that features list.. its been a busy day at work.

I'm very pleased with how things are going so far. You guys are great!

3DArtZ
02-14-2006, 03:15 AM
I'd sure like to second that.
I am very impressed with everyone's ability to exchange information and ideas.

If this plug can be made, I do feel that it will be a must have for EI users.

Thanks Igors for taking us through this so far!
And ofcourse to the forum Chief - Brian!

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com (http://www.3dartz.com)

Vizfizz
02-14-2006, 04:14 AM
Ok.. here's my first pass at a desirable list of features for Bebel and Revolver.

Mrs. Bebel feature requests for v3.

v3 intended purposes: Geometry Construction, Beveling.

1. Update existing beveling and extruding feature set for linked children to the plugin.
2. Permit extruding support for internally generated, user drawn open or closed cross sections.
3. Permit lofting support of geometric wire entities linked as children to the plugin.
4. Retain all current capabilities of Mrs. Bebel v2.0.
5. Add variable mesh resolution support for geometry generated by plugin for both Animator and Camera.

Bevel Editor (Current implementation) Requested features for v3.
- Adjustable grid resolution
- Grid snapping
- Include library of preset bevels.

Cross Section Editor (v3 addition) Requested features
- Adjustable grid resolution
- Grid snapping
- Image plane templates for tracing.
- Spline / curve capable drawing (Highly requested)
- Support for holes within closed cross sections
- Open and closed curve cross sections permitted
- Permit the drawing of more than one curve in a single session. Each curve results in a separate piece of geometry.
- Cross sections are modifiable throughout the life of the plugin.
- I/O (Load/Save) Functions to save out cross section templates for later use.

- New Extruding tools.
- Permit for extrusion scale
- Permit for extrusion twist
- Permit beveling on geometry created with user defined cross sections.
- Permit capping of geometry created with user defined cross sections.

- New Lofting tools.
- Permit lofting between open or closed geometric wire entities linked to the plugin as children.
- Permit capping of geometry generated with closed cross section children.
- Permit beveling of geometry generated with closed cross section children.
- Permit animation of cross sections to reshape the loft and animate if desired.

- All tools provide UV coordinate compatible geometry.
- All capping tools for user drawn cross sections provide definable mesh resolution settings for deformation compatibility.

---------------------------------

Mr. Revolver v1.

Mr. Revolver intended purpose: Geometry construction.

1. Permit revolving support of internally generated, user drawn open or closed cross sections.
2. Permit revolving support of geometric wire entities linked as children to the plugin.
3. Provide variable mesh resolution support for geometry generated by plugin for both Animator and Camera.

Cross Section Editor
- Adjustable grid resolution
- Grid snapping
- Image plane templates for tracing.
- Spline / curve capable drawing (Highly requested)
- Support for holes within closed cross sections
- Open and closed curve cross sections permitted
- Permit the drawing of more than one curve in a single session. Each curve results in a separate piece of geometry.
- I/O (Load/Save) Functions to save out cross section templates for later use.
- Cross sections are modifiable throughout the life of the plugin.
- User definable axis for revolve.

Revolving setting and tools.

- Permit full or partial revolves from 1 to 360 degrees.
- UV coordinate compatible.
- User definable mesh resolution.

Igors
02-14-2006, 10:50 AM
Hi, Brian

We've read your features list. Imagine it's re-organized "by themes" (like this forum by threads). How the list would look? We see a very large thread "improving graph editor" and.. a few very short threads. What would be a result if the list is processed pont by point? Improving, improving and improving graph editor, but.. no Mr.Revolver himself :rolleyes:

We propose another approach. Let's create the revolve plugin first with a graph as it is now. This first version will be not near perfect, nevertheless we sure this way is much more effective. Please forget about curves graph editor, this way is too long and too problematic to run with it immediately.

Let's consider a few "revolving itself" problems and, maybe, you'll find they are at least same interesting/important

>>- User definable axis for revolve.<<

Hmm... how?

The simplest way: the axis is X(Y, Z) (popup) at point (0, 0, 0) (plugin position). 100% simple and intuitive, but.. not enough features.

The second way: the axis is X(Y, Z) (3 edit boxes) at point (px, py, pz) (3 edit boxes). Fully featured, but.. is it enough simple ?

>>- Permit full or partial revolves from 1 to 360 degrees. <<

"Tiled" revolves? Like from 0..20, 60..80, 120..140 etc. (to combine it with another one for 20..60, 80..120) etc.

"Not monotonous" revolves? (graph is morphed not "by time", but "by angle") Hmmm.. can be damn complex..

Also, where did you see nice lathes? What are revolve features in other apps?

Vizfizz
02-14-2006, 04:27 PM
Hey guys,

I did include stuff on revolver down at the end of the thread. What I'm trying to accomplish by the feature list I created for Bebel and Revolver is an overall goal. We're trying to create a capable modeling subsystem within Animator that can handle 80% of most hard surface modeling needs. The subsystem has to be reasonably sophisticated for users to choose to buy it. Lets see if I can try again..

Themes:

1. Extruding child open and closed geometric wire entities (currently exisits in Bebel v2)
2. Extruding user defined open and closed cross sections (capping & beveling for closed)
3. Beveling child closed geometric wire entities (currently exists in Bebel v2)
4. Lofting child open and closed geometric wire entities (capping and beveling for closed)
5. Revolving child open and closed geometric wire entities
6. Revolving user defined open and closed cross sections

Igors: We propose another approach. Let's create the revolve plugin first with a graph as it is now. This first version will be not near perfect, nevertheless we sure this way is much more effective. Please forget about curves graph editor, this way is too long and too problematic to run with it immediately.

The graph editor must be improved to a degree. Adjustable grids and grid snapping, I think, are critical. As for forgetting curves... that is gonna be a tough sell for users. Curves are so essential for making something look right. I could potentially see roughing something out with linear line segments and then pumping the resulting model into Encage to smooth things out, but thats using 2 plugins which I'd rather not do. If we ensure that curves can be supported through child wire entities we can survive on that I guess, but without curve generation within the cross section editor, folks will simply resort to using an outside modeling package instead.

Revolver user defined axis. I'm fine with a simple pop up, x, y, or z axis choice at the plugin's position at 0,0,0.

Definable degrees: All I was suggesting here was the ability to do partial revolves. Instead of revolving a full 360 degrees, users could enter any value. It would be nice if this was an animatable feature.

Lathing/Revolving in other apps is pretty straight forward. Variations I have seen include the ability for the user to draw his own line of axis for the revolve to occur around. I've also seen partial revolves in both U and V directions. (This would be very cool)

Reuben5150
02-14-2006, 04:46 PM
Just a couple of points,

Mrs bebel2 already has "extrusion scale" and also, about smoothing and curves, in Bebel2 using the "smooth extrude angle" values, across and along gives a smooth resulting model (like using curves),no need for encage :)


Reuben

Reuben5150
02-14-2006, 04:51 PM
Oh and re-sizing or draging the window out effectively zooms into the grid :thumbsup:



Reuben

Vizfizz
02-14-2006, 04:51 PM
That certainly helps (smooth angle) ....though not exactly the same as drawing a real curve.

As for the grid, yes, it makes the grid bigger. But you still can't adjust the resolution of the grid.

Igors
02-15-2006, 07:19 AM
Hi, Brian

We think now it's time to write a first vers of lathe plugin. We need approximately 1 week. If our others projects would require more our attention, then, sorry, it's like 2 weeks. We hope further discussion can be more productive if there is a concrete plugin/subject (btw: we've some new ideas about curves etc. - enough blurred yet)

Beta-testing: Brian himself + 3 vacancies (one is reserved for Mike cause he's initiator of this prj). Other 2 - as Brian solves.


Lathing/Revolving in other apps is pretty straight forward. Variations I have seen include the ability for the user to draw his own line of axis for the revolve to occur around. I've also seen partial revolves in both U and V directions. (This would be very cool)

Cool! So, graph can be used as a revolve axis? We didn't see this feature, thank you!

>> I've also seen partial revolves in both U and V directions. (This would be very cool) <<

Not clear, please explain more

3DArtZ
02-15-2006, 03:16 PM
Igor, this is great to hear!

I am excited to be involved and look forward to what develops.
Thanks for your efforts

Mike


Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com (http://www.3dartz.com)

Vizfizz
02-15-2006, 04:35 PM
In a typical NURBS modeler, the spline that is used to define the cross section has its own U direction. It runs along the curve's length. When the curve is revolved, the resulting model now possesses a V direction. Permitting partial revolves in both or either the U and V directions would permit users to create lathed models that could be broken apart conviently for texturing purposes.

Your plugin would provide three user definable values that would dictate the lathed objects shape.

Value 1: (Degrees in rotation around the axis) This is defining the amount of V direction in degrees.

Value 2: (Starting point of the Curve's U length) This is defining the start point of the U length.

Value 3: (End point of the Curve's U Length) End length value.

Value 1 is measured in degrees around an axis.
Values 2&3 are usually measured values between 0 and 1.
All three of these values should be capable of being animated.

Thus, if a user has a sophisticated symetrical object that needs to be lathed, but needs it to be broken up into multiple pieces for texturing or animation purposes, the user has method to ensure that the model "portions" can exactly line up in the resulting models.

Vizfizz
02-16-2006, 08:34 AM
Ok.. here's a rough idea for an interface for Revolver. I have more ideas, but this will get us going.

Here's the breakdown.

V Degrees: The number of degrees around an axis to revolve. Generates the V surface. Degrees should be animation capable.

Animateable Button: Activates animation on U & V values for partial revolves.

Create UVs Button: Creates UV coordinates on object for texturing.

Revolve Editor: Radial button selects which type of entity is available for revolving. Cross sections or Children. If children is selected only children parented to the plugin will show up in the graph editor. Depending on which editor is in use will permit choices in either "Activate Children" or "Activate Cross Section" menus.

Smoothing Angle: Since the Igors wont permit drawing splines or curves in the editor, a method is needed to subdivide line segments in the cross section editor by subdividing the line segment with more points.

Activate Children: Pop up reveals the names of all children linked to the plugin. Select any child and click "Revolve Child" to permit it to generate geometry. Clicking "Display" shows the child object in the graph editor in order to define the user's revolve axis. Or children could be limited to revolving around the local center of the plugin in either the x, y or z axis. A radial button or pop up would be needed to define this.

Color Channels & Textures: Same functions as Mrs. Bebel.

Activate Cross Section: If the cross section editor is active, each line segment drawn within the editor is automatically named as Line 1, Line 2, Line 3 etc... In the example jpg provided here, there would be two separate line segments. Line 1 is showing the outline of a glass and Line 2 is showing the outline of the blocked object. The pop up menu allows you to select which line sections you wish to display in the editor and which ones are permited to generate geometry.

U Start & U End are values between 0 & 1 for each line segment. These values can be animated. In the sample shown, the U located on the line segment indictates the U direction of the curve. Black lines for open segments and holes and white lines for closed segments. Or what ever colors work.

V Capping: Used to generate a cap on the ends of partial revolves. Can be used for cross section or children revolves.

Cap Rez: A method to define the resolution of the cap.

Input/Output: Used to save and load cross section templates.

Mesh Settings: Defineable for both EI and Camera. The V resolution ties in with the V degrees setting. If the user defines a partial revolve at 90 degrees and the V resolution is 18. Then Revolver will utilizes 18 steps in the revolve within those 90 degrees. U resolution is to increase the amount of geometry along the U curve.

The XYZ button at the bottom left of the editor is used to switch between which plane is being utilized to draw on. XY, XZ, YZ.

Pencil tool is for drawing line segments.

The Pen tool would be made available when drawing splines is eventually supported.


Suggestions?

Vizfizz
02-16-2006, 08:54 AM
Whoops.. forgot to add a radial button for grid snap and forgot to show a method for grid resolution.

And one more thing... lol.

Each line segment creates it own object in animator. (If using the plugin in cross section mode.)

Igors
02-16-2006, 11:44 AM
Hi, Brian

Sorry for no answer yet for your propositions. Just give us a time to implement "basic revolving" first. Adding this or that option/interface control is not a big problem in most cases. An answer like "see new beta" is always the best :) So, please "save bullets" and wait (not very long)

Vizfizz
02-16-2006, 03:47 PM
Oh yah.. I know.. no problem. I just thought this might help.

halfworld
02-16-2006, 10:02 PM
Well, while Mr. Revolver is cooking i'll just give Brian a 74 out of 10 for his interface design, in which was everything I could want from this :)

Something to aspire to! Go Team Igors! lets get a basic revolve and work up :)
Ian

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