View Full Version : AHK idea: Model JPG preview

Ryan Roye
04-17-2013, 12:51 PM
One thing that has always bugged me about opening model files is that I can't get a preview of the model *before* I open it. I have hundreds of models in just my props folder and sometimes a text name isn't enough to get an idea of what an object is, and browsing easily is out of the question; opening a bunch of models is a huge drain on system resources. This means I have to wait between 5 to 120 seconds to open a model just to look at it.

So, I'm thinking of developing a program to remedy this issue using Autohotkey assuming that no solid options or alternatives exist. I am going to wait until I have a new system before making this program, as I don't want the transition from winxp32 to win7/8 to cause me to have to do any re-working.

The ideal functions/key features of the program:

Highlighting an object within a save/open dialogue in Lightwave (modeler or layout) will display a preview window if a cached low-quality JPG of the object if available. The preview is obviously dismissed when the dialogue disappears.
Options to either auto-index a preview image file upon opening it, or index manually (orienting the viewport and pressing a key for a snapshot)
A means of indexing an entire directory's worth of models automatically... or at minimum indexing all currently open models.
Lightweight. The whole point is to be able to view stuff at a glance.

http://www.delura.tanadrine.com/image_autoupload/objectviewerTN.jpg (http://www.delura.tanadrine.com/image_autoupload/objectviewer.jpg)

I can imagine that this could also be extended to .lws files and stuff too.

04-17-2013, 01:34 PM
If it serves you as a reference for your (very nice) idea, Houdini includes a separate .exe called gplay that is a geometry viewer. When you double click geometry with it, even from outside the software, it opens a light version of the default scene view, and you can even rotate, pan and zoom geometry around. it works both with native Houdini format (.bgeo) and a number of formats such as .obj


04-17-2013, 07:23 PM
There were some threads before.


A lot of people before wanted windows browswer thumbnail support like how its done in Autodesk apps. Super convenient really. Don't think any plans to do it way though since lw format is very old txt base.

04-17-2013, 07:38 PM
Be nice if it supported other file types too ACDSee used to have something called ImageFox that I loved. They sadly discontinued it.

Ryan Roye
04-17-2013, 07:50 PM
I don't predict the functionality being hard to do with autohotkey... at least at a very basic level. Unlike with lscript, I'm not limited to just Lightwave or even by filetype. Again, the idea is just a simple image preview that gets displayed based on what a user has selected in the file dialogues and nothing more. this script will potentially be able to function anywhere provided a snapshot exists in the first place. The main thing is figuring out what dimensions are best and how to make getting a snapshot as convenient as possible.

04-17-2013, 08:45 PM
i'd really want that too, i found some alternatives though, and together with AHK maybe they could be even better...

but,... youtube uploads are down... Zzzzz :sleeping:

04-17-2013, 10:31 PM
the most interesting program so far is Mootools 3DBrowser Light ($30)
which creates thumbnails on .lwo and .lws files...

it's a bit quirky, but works ok...


04-17-2013, 10:33 PM
I still use the separate app TNG Viewer: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?98678-OpenGL-viewer-for-LightWave-files

Still works in OS X Mountain Lion, but it looks like the TNG site is now gone.

- - - Updated - - -

I believe Adobe Bridge supports OBJ previews. And I think Bridge has an SDK. So all you programmers out there, get crackin!

04-18-2013, 03:00 AM
Letīs start with simple presets like at least modo has.

If I want some rock parts, some trees, it would help immensly to simply click on objects and a preset shelf, and pick from thumbs and drag drop.
of course a full 3d viewer would be awesome too, think it would be a stronger selling point too if the Lightwave group could co-work with likes as mootools 3d browser and incorporate it
directly within Lightwave..sort of:)
But it must be made lightweight and not bugging the system to slowness.


04-18-2013, 02:47 PM

check > http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?135109-Lightwave-3party-LWO-3DViewers