Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: CONSOLIDATING MODELING TOOLS: How would you do it?

  1. #1
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    3,509

    CONSOLIDATING MODELING TOOLS: How would you do it?

    One of my friends is one of the top character modelers IN THE WORLD. During a talk he once confessed that in ZBrush he only uses about 5 tools.
    That blew my mind away.
    That comment inspired this thread.

    One of my biggest gripes about Modeler is that there seems to be a lack of cohesion with the tools. No tonly that the interface is a little too click happy.

    •How would you CONSOLIDATE in an INTUITIVE WAY the current set of tools?
    •What would you MODELING TOOLS have you seen that you liked?
    •How do you feel about procedural modeling?

    And do keep in mind that consolidation makes it (in theory) easier for eventual porting of tools to Layout.


    I am looking forward to your comments.
    -R
    This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government, CG Networks or CGTALK.com. The opinions expressed on this posting are on my own volition.

  2. #2
    Super Member JohnMarchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Murcia, Spain
    Posts
    2,659
    I agree totally, there are allot of tools that do similar jobs, but there are also allot of tools that could be so much more. Example in 2018 we now have a lattice tool, however it is not as good as the 3D Powers Lattice tool. I think they should look at each tool and expand it as much as possible and also conbine some that do similar things. For instance ive wanted a multi knife took for ages, the knife tool at the moment is ok but only one cut, what if i want 10 cuts all even spaced.

    However we are talking about modeler and to be honest apart from a few things modeler has not seen much love in ages.
    Last edited by JohnMarchant; 04-22-2018 at 10:34 AM.
    Alienware M18XR2 (18.4" Screen)
    Intel i7 3630 2.4GHz
    Windows 10 64Bit
    NVidia GeForce 660M x 2
    750GB HDD, 32GB SSD
    32Gb Ram

    LightWave 2015.3

    Heavy as hell but a little powerhouse.

  3. #3
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    14,478
    Some tools are getting CLOSE to being good consolidations, but NOT QUITE. For instance, the TRANSFORM tool combines MOVE, ROTATE, SIZE, STRETCH, but has no snapping. If tools were finished, we'd be closer.

    Or the ROVE tool, which I liked, but didn't work in Symmetry. Again, tool not finished.
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

  4. #4
    Super Member JohnMarchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Murcia, Spain
    Posts
    2,659
    Quote Originally Posted by jeric_synergy View Post
    Some tools are getting CLOSE to being good consolidations, but NOT QUITE. For instance, the TRANSFORM tool combines MOVE, ROTATE, SIZE, STRETCH, but has no snapping. If tools were finished, we'd be closer.

    Or the ROVE tool, which I liked, but didn't work in Symmetry. Again, tool not finished.
    Indeed, i think many tools just feel half done now, modeler really needs an overhaul. Hopefully this questionaire that was put out may address some issues, but im not hopeful in the short term.
    Alienware M18XR2 (18.4" Screen)
    Intel i7 3630 2.4GHz
    Windows 10 64Bit
    NVidia GeForce 660M x 2
    750GB HDD, 32GB SSD
    32Gb Ram

    LightWave 2015.3

    Heavy as hell but a little powerhouse.

  5. #5
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    14,478

    incomplete QA checklist

    Every (Modeler) tool needs to pass a checklist of items before it's passed:

    1) Does it work in Symmetry?
    2) Does it handle UVs correctly?
    3) Is there a Numeric panel option?
    4) Is it scriptable?
    5) {umpteen other more subtle/advanced things I never use}
    6) {add your own}

    I mean, these shortcomings have kept Sensei busy, good on him for meeting needs, but it doesn't seem like responsible software management.
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

  6. #6
    Super Member JohnMarchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Murcia, Spain
    Posts
    2,659
    Agreed.
    Alienware M18XR2 (18.4" Screen)
    Intel i7 3630 2.4GHz
    Windows 10 64Bit
    NVidia GeForce 660M x 2
    750GB HDD, 32GB SSD
    32Gb Ram

    LightWave 2015.3

    Heavy as hell but a little powerhouse.

  7. #7
    Super Member Kryslin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Prescott, IA
    Posts
    1,097
    One thing I've noticed is a lack of consistency in the tools.

    For instance, point normal move has no fall offs. Bevel and Multishift are effectively the same tool (Multishift has a few more options, granted), but there is a UI inconsistency between them(the basic functionality for some other modeling tools, like extend plus is in there as well). Extend plus isn't aware of all the geometry types in modeler (splines... Extend an end point of a spline, you get an edge).

    Granted, Modeler predates OOP practices, but one would think that, eventually modeler tools would have a base class they inherited their base functionality from, like fall offs, snapping, etc.
    --------
    Intel Core i7 960 @3.20 Ghz, 24 GB ram, EVGA 6GB GTX980Ti "Classified" driving 2 x HP LA2405.

  8. #8
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    5,700
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryslin View Post
    Granted, Modeler predates OOP practices, but one would think that, eventually modeler tools would have a base class they inherited their base functionality from, like fall offs, snapping, etc.
    Instead of speculating what's there, go look at the SDK, that way you can see for yourself exactly how tool plugins acquire operands. It doesn't work the way you seem to think it does, tool operands aren't really passed as (explicit) parameters. Selections, etc. are (implicit) global state that tools query by type/attribute to acquire operands.

    Aside, that's also why a proper procedural/parametric toolset would require massive architectural changes, such systems require explicit operand tracking and data flow to function.
    Last edited by jwiede; 04-22-2018 at 05:20 PM.
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.2),32GB RAM, NV 980ti

  9. #9
    Lava Lamp Technician 3D Kiwi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, West Island of New Zealand
    Posts
    564
    [QUOTE=robertoortiz;1544204]One of my friends is one of the top character modelers IN THE WORLD.

    Is there a ranking system for this? like the best soccer teams in the world?

  10. #10
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    14,478
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryslin View Post
    One thing I've noticed is a lack of consistency in the tools.

    For instance, point normal move has no fall offs. Bevel and Multishift are effectively the same tool (Multishift has a few more options, granted), but there is a UI inconsistency between them(the basic functionality for some other modeling tools, like extend plus is in there as well). Extend plus isn't aware of all the geometry types in modeler (splines... Extend an end point of a spline, you get an edge).

    Granted, Modeler predates OOP practices, but one would think that, eventually modeler tools would have a base class they inherited their base functionality from, like fall offs, snapping, etc.
    Quoted in entirety for emphasis.
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

  11. #11
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    324
    I think the two functional areas that could provide the most benefit from a careful rethinking, and then consolidation are selections and transforms.
    When we work in Modeler, it being at its core a full-time component level modeler, a large percentage of the actions we take in the modeling process are taken just doing those two functions. So they need to be very economical in terms of the key and mouse or stylus actions required to get what you want.

    A great deal of selection behavior can be done in a direct way via simple mouse/stylus actions with modifier keys for additional constraint/control. I recently logged a suggestion relating to this, where shell, full and partial loop, or full or partial ring selections can be done in a direct way (just with mouse/stylus and modifier keys). Selection type conversion (i.e. points to faces, etc.) could be done, just by way of example, by Ctrl+LCLICKing on the buttons which enable the mode. Or an intelligent context menu (maybe a pie menu or similar) which would contain all of the often used functions right there).

    For transforms, I believe with some careful thought, each of Translate, Rotate, and Scale could be boiled down to a very small number of primary tools. And hopefully with a little more R&D, the Transform Tool (aka universal gizmo) has the potential to do all at once. I know the tools that were introduced in 11.5 are not universally loved, partly I think because they never evolved beyond 1.0 state, but nevertheless I think they showed a lot of promise for the future. What if the snapping and HUD systems shown there where built into the core so all tools could utilize them? They also introducing some interesting shading possibilities, like full face pre-selection and selection highlighting. Anyway, am hoping the team can find good candidates for inclusion into Modeler's core services so they and 3rd parties can build more consistent tools.

    There are also plenty of opportunities for consolidation for other fairly high frequency usage functional areas: extrusions, split & divide, weld & merge, chamfer/fillet, mesh subdivide, deformers. The UV toolset most obviously.

    For both selection and transform, we would expect the same (updated) tools to work in both UV/tangent space and object space, and ideally, to work on curves as well as meshes where applicable.

  12. #12
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    14,478
    I mainly agree with your points, especially about 'economics', and have these thoughts:

    Quote Originally Posted by tburbage View Post
    Selection type conversion (i.e. points to faces, etc.) could be done, just by way of example, by Ctrl+LCLICKing on the buttons which enable the mode.
    I'm not sure this is necessary, as the current conversion command, eg "Sel Points" (from polys or edges) already puts the app into the Point mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by tburbage View Post
    For transforms, I believe with some careful thought, each of Translate, Rotate, and Scale could be boiled down to a very small number of primary tools. And hopefully with a little more R&D, the Transform Tool (aka universal gizmo) has the potential to do all at once.
    Indeed. I don't see what the Transform Tool has in terms of strikes against it, as it stands. - My main issue with it is that currently, to me, ROTATES backwards in relation to the mouse movement. Another small improvement would be a WORLD AXES constraint, which I've FReq'd today, but feel free to pile on.

    I did see some non-replicable errors when using Transform with Symmetry enabled, but, non-replicable, so maybe imaginary.

    Quote Originally Posted by tburbage View Post
    For both selection and transform, we would expect the same (updated) tools to work in both UV/tangent space and object space, and ideally, to work on curves as well as meshes where applicable.
    Bingo.

    Great post.
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

  13. #13
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    5,700
    Quote Originally Posted by tburbage View Post
    I know the tools that were introduced in 11.5 are not universally loved, partly I think because they never evolved beyond 1.0 state, but nevertheless I think they showed a lot of promise for the future. What if the snapping and HUD systems shown there where built into the core so all tools could utilize them? They also introducing some interesting shading possibilities, like full face pre-selection and selection highlighting. Anyway, am hoping the team can find good candidates for inclusion into Modeler's core services so they and 3rd parties can build more consistent tools.
    The 11.5 "New Tools" were primarily the efforts of David Ikeda, and he acknowledged their internal design/architecture turned out to be a bit of a dead end. He's also no longer with Newtek (nor has there been any indication a replacement has been hired), and the length of time which has passed without those tools receiving even significant improvements -- despite some notable issues -- suggests ongoing lack of suitably-qualified dev resources for Modeler work, period.
    Last edited by jwiede; 04-24-2018 at 11:11 AM.
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.2),32GB RAM, NV 980ti

  14. #14
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    324
    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    The 11.5 "New Tools" were primarily the efforts of David Ikeda, and he acknowledged their internal design/architecture turned out to be a bit of a dead end. He's also no longer with Newtek (nor has there been any indication a replacement has been hired), and the length of time which has passed without those tools receiving even significant improvements -- despite some notable issues -- suggests ongoing lack of suitably-qualified dev resources for Modeler work, period.
    Yeah, not disagreeing with you. I do recall he seemed unhappy that they were rolled out in the state they were in at that time. But still, John, other than starting from scratch with the intent of trying to achieve some of the same objectives (HUD, snapping system, tools which in a number of cases didn't require a pre-selection), those tools are the best example of recent LWM tools I can cite as "like that, only go for more concentration of functionality in each tool to make them more useful". Otherwise, all we can do is point to tools of workflows we like in other apps and hope they get the idea.

  15. #15
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    324
    Quote Originally Posted by jeric_synergy View Post
    I mainly agree with your points, especially about 'economics', and have these thoughts:


    I'm not sure this is necessary, as the current conversion command, eg "Sel Points" (from polys or edges) already puts the app into the Point mode.


    Indeed. I don't see what the Transform Tool has in terms of strikes against it, as it stands. - My main issue with it is that currently, to me, ROTATES backwards in relation to the mouse movement. Another small improvement would be a WORLD AXES constraint, which I've FReq'd today, but feel free to pile on.

    I did see some non-replicable errors when using Transform with Symmetry enabled, but, non-replicable, so maybe imaginary.


    Bingo.

    Great post.
    Changing the selection mode isn't the same thing as converting the current mode's selection to to an analogous selection in a different mode. Remember, LWM remembers each component mode's selection state independently, which is a feature, but sometimes, you want to e.g. select a patch of faces, and then convert that to the points of those faces selected.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •