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View Full Version : Lightwave 2018 spline Bridge VS artsphereīs Bezier Bridge



prometheus
01-14-2018, 12:30 PM
Hi folks

and I who often complain about tools not being native, and here I go having some second thoughts about the new modeling addition called spline bridge,:D
as many of you know, there is a free plugin from artsphere called bezier bridge
(it works in 2018 as well if you download the 64 bit version)

Personally I feel the artsphere plugin being a bit better I think, becuase of partly having a tension option...where the native 2018 spline bridge does not.
just curious to why they spended time on this tool? when there already is a good working tool out there for it, donīt get me wrong...as I said, I am all for more native tool to cover basic stuff, but perhaps if they could have covered whatīs in the art sphere bezier spline tool, as well as further enhancements, then I would just give a thumbs up.

Your thoughts, does the native spline bridge tool in lightwave 2018 provide something better for you.. than the artsphere plugin?

http://www.artssphere.com/plugins/bezierbridge.php
http://www.artssphere.com/plugins.php

raymondtrace
01-19-2018, 03:18 PM
Each tool has its strengths. Art's Sphere bezier bridge is limited to matching ends to a single polygon. 2018's spline bridge can join any end with a contiguous selection of polygons.

jwiede
01-19-2018, 04:07 PM
Each tool has its strengths. Art's Sphere bezier bridge is limited to matching ends to a single polygon. 2018's spline bridge can join any end with a contiguous selection of polygons.

If the LW devs find an external tool interesting enough to integrate native, then they dang well should also make the native/internal version the best version available (as in, a superset replacement whenever feasible). Any other approach just further worsens the Modeler tool proliferation problem, as happened here -- now both are valuable/needed because each has useful features the other does not offer, hooray.

It's "death by a million paper cuts" -- none of these UI/UX mistakes are "huge", but they happen so very frequently and in so many areas of LW, they really add up and magnify each other until the net result is serious UX inefficiency and pain, coming from all directions, and numbers too large to reasonably hope for any sort of timely, significant overall reduction.

There's ways to mitigate the problem, like tooltips or rollover status line descriptions, that help avoid the "plethora of similar buttons" issue, but they don't get addressed and Modeler just gets worse and worse. Having a text-based UI can be a benefit, but instead what's occurring is the precise thing that actually _reduces_ the text-based UI value, proliferation of too many similar tools.

They need to either address the proliferation (reduction/coalescing), or provide mitigations, but they need to do _something_ other than just making a bad situation worse.

jeric_synergy
01-19-2018, 04:13 PM
It's "death by a million paper cuts" -- none of these UI/UX mistakes are "huge", but they happen so very frequently and in so many areas of LW, they really add up and magnify each other until the net result is serious UX inefficiency and pain.
THIS.:devil::devil::devil:

When there's an example sitting right in front of you, why WOULDN'T you make a 'replacement' better?

prometheus
01-19-2018, 04:44 PM
Each tool has its strengths. Art's Sphere bezier bridge is limited to matching ends to a single polygon. 2018's spline bridge can join any end with a contiguous selection of polygons.

sort of, but true, though keep in mind that you can just select the multi polygon faces, and just merge them, works on both ends, then run bridge, itīs quite easy and fast to do, but of course at that particular case, the new bridge tool is in speed workflow.

But the other way around, You can not set a tension with the new spline bridge, I miss that.

And you know what, these bridge tools is something that I actually havenīt seen blender do better on, I miss this kind of spline bridge in blender, havenīt seen any addon either to match it.

prometheus
01-19-2018, 04:52 PM
If the LW devs find an external tool interesting enough to integrate native, then they dang well should also make the native/internal version the best version available (as in, a superset replacement whenever feasible). Any other approach just further worsens the Modeler tool proliferation problem, as happened here -- now both are valuable/needed because each has useful features the other does not offer, hooray.



I agree on that, I just wonder if they simply didnīt test bezier spline, just looked at it, or in fact didnīt look at it at all ..then just implemented it..I think they should have done a more thorough job.

a bit harsch perhaps, but I get that kind of feeling with the new volumetrics as well..itīs not any replacement for hypervoxels by long shot, I could give them a slack and just urge them to work a bit more on it, currently I miss
being able to apply the new volumetrics on point clusters..I miss acessing a "hypertexture" directly instead of going all nodal and look for the textures, adding them, plugin them in...just consider the time to do that in reference to how fast you just pulled down your texture in hypervoxels, and there is no new hypervoxel surface or sprite mode, we have to activate the old legacy system in two places and use the old hypervoxels for that.
Sorry for going off topic again towards volumetrics..but it showcases the team is really really struggling with not being able to release "near full" replacements ...or new features.

fishhead
01-20-2018, 05:42 AM
While off topic: Did you already send a feature request for your missing volumetric features?

gar26lw
01-20-2018, 07:23 AM
i agree with jwiede. spot on imho.

ccclarke
01-20-2018, 08:35 AM
In my work, (technical animation) the most tedious aspect is modeling wiring; especially around interference. I used to spend countless frustrating hours routing (and editing) a spline from point to point, rail extruding the wire (or cable) then repeating the sequence for the next one so it would be adjacent with the bundles were aligned for part of the run before the individual wires fan out to their connectors.

I would dread going into work those days, knowing I was going to have to spend so much time trying to get the desired look.

The Belzier Bridge tool makes this mind-numbing chore a snap. I can complete a job that would normally take eight hours in about thirty minutes. (Time is money!) I can set multiple bend points along the wiring path and manipulate the entire length in real time, aligning it perfectly. Now I longer dread the wiring phase, and the lay of the wiring looks much more natural.

This applies to complex piping systems as well.

Newtek has done little to improve Modeler in over a decade. It's waaaay past time. More emphasis on developing real-time, interactive tools would be so helpful. And snapping - lots of snapping!

CCC

prometheus
01-20-2018, 09:12 AM
In my work, (technical animation) the most tedious aspect is modeling wiring; especially around interference. I used to spend countless frustrating hours routing (and editing) a spline from point to point, rail extruding the wire (or cable) then repeating the sequence for the next one so it would be adjacent with the bundles were aligned for part of the run before the individual wires fan out to their connectors.

I would dread going into work those days, knowing I was going to have to spend so much time trying to get the desired look.

The Belzier Bridge tool makes this mind-numbing chore a snap. I can complete a job that would normally take eight hours in about thirty minutes. (Time is money!) I can set multiple bend points along the wiring path and manipulate the entire length in real time, aligning it perfectly. Now I longer dread the wiring phase, and the lay of the wiring looks much more natural.

This applies to complex piping systems as well.

Newtek has done little to improve Modeler in over a decade. It's waaaay past time. More emphasis on developing real-time, interactive tools would be so helpful. And snapping - lots of snapping!

CCC

You refered to the Bezier brigde tool, which is artpshereīs external plugin...and you mean that is the one you use? or do you mean you have embraced the 2018 native spline bridge tool? I donīt get if you tried to make a point about how these two plugins are different or so?

prometheus
01-20-2018, 09:18 AM
While off topic: Did you already send a feature request for your missing volumetric features?

Nope...it may be bad of me, we canīt expect the team to file request by only having users starting their own threads I guess, I have a whole thread about it..but of course, itīs not getting filed properly...so my bad there perhaps.
and if I should expect a fast update enhancement..I may need to do that of course, but maybe I simply want to hear some feedback about my complaints before I do, and maybe I want to gather as much other lacking areas before I do sent a request..at the expense of not having it updated fast maybe.

I wonder though, the lack of ..or deconstruct of the workflow, as a new request, they must be aware of what they doing and how hypervoxels worked....so what wherer they thinking, that it would be better to not include direct acess in the list as hypervoxels did, and just guessed this would be better..and if any user would have a different opinion, they should file request?
or they simply new they are having issues with getting that to work, or they simply was running out of time and had to release 2018 before it was properly implemented...who knows.

For everyones good I will try to file requests on such things as hypertexture the old way acess, but I actually would like to bring back almost the whole hv interface, the whole copy and paste from one null to the other is Way better than 2018, appliance of volumetrics on Any point cluster in there, not possible with the new volumetrics, the way we can turn various nulls hvs on and off and yet having other objects selected and moving around..not possible in 2018, the way we could use vertex painted maps to apply hv density..not possible in the new volumetrics, so itīs not like itīs one feature request, there is loads of missing things in the new volumetrics.

and only have some 10 days left of testing 2018 ...

dee
01-20-2018, 09:19 AM
In my work, (technical animation) the most tedious aspect is modeling wiring; especially around interference. I used to spend countless frustrating hours routing (and editing) a spline from point to point, rail extruding the wire (or cable) then repeating the sequence for the next one so it would be adjacent with the bundles were aligned for part of the run before the individual wires fan out to their connectors.

My I ask why don't you use LWCad?

prometheus
01-20-2018, 09:25 AM
My I ask why don't you use LWCad?

does LWCAD have itīs own spline bridge tool now, canīt recall it had any? or are you refering to the latest builds with nurbs and smart surfaces etc, and in what way they can work as good or better than the spline bridge/bezier bridge tools?

ccclarke
01-20-2018, 09:48 AM
You refered to the Bezier brigde tool, which is artpshereīs external plugin...and you mean that is the one you use? or do you mean you have embraced the 2018 native spline bridge tool? I donīt get if you tried to make a point about how these two plugins are different or so?

Belzier Bridge. I'll have the company upgrade to 2018 in a few months as more bugs are squashed, since it is a PITA to upgrade software where I work.

ccclarke
01-20-2018, 09:51 AM
My I ask why don't you use LWCad?

No foreign-made software allowed on our network. No internet connectivity either. All software is vetted, scanned, and installed manually.

We use SolidWorks for all design / documentation generation and I convert the engineering design models to LW-friendly objects for final renders used for briefing slides, tech manuals, and training documentation.

During the design/devopment phase, wiring and cabling is an afterthought. (Mechanical engineers are rarely concerned with electrical considerations.) Since wires are installed by techs using the available space, if wiring is included in the models I convert, it's often wrong, passing through solid parts of the model (interference). Bend radii (depending on the gauge of the wire, or diameter of the cable) and service loops are something I have to take into account when routing.

Some SolidWorks models can be in the millions of polys, which means I have to perform significant modeling effort using the original model as a template to get the LOD I need while keeping the poly count reasonable for manipulating in Modeler and rendering in Layout. The photo-realistic results are worth it.

The most memorable ***-chewing I ever received at work occurred during a customer meeting when some of my renders were shown. The guy stood up and started screaming, "Who authorized you to spend my money to build this hardware!" The program manager smiled and calmly explained that they were 3D renders and no hardware had been built. Everyone was laughing about it long after he left.

prometheus
01-20-2018, 10:01 AM
No foreign-made software allowed on our network. No internet connectivity either. All software is vetted, scanned, and installed manually.

We use SolidWorks for all design / documentation generation and I convert the engineering design models to LW-friendly objects for final renders used for briefing slides, tech manuals, and training documentation.

During the design/devopment phase, wiring and cabling is an afterthought. Since it's usually installed by techs using the available space, if wiring is included in the models I convert, it's often wrong.

Some SolidWorks models can be in the millions of polys, which means I have to perform significant modeling effort using the original model as a template to get the LOD I need while keeping the poly count reasonable for manipulating in Modeler and rendering in Layout. The photo-realistic results are worth it.

Interesting, I worked some years ago with Models from solidworks-deep exploration-Lightwave in 2009-2013 aprroximately, deep exploration was quite nice to convert all the models and narrow down thousands of materials created by solidworks for each part.

ccclarke
01-20-2018, 11:18 AM
Deep Exploration has some fantastic capabilities --like placing a 3D model into a pdf and manipulating it within a tech manual; especially for maintenance procedures.

Converting a SolidWorks model for importing into LW is very easy, requiring no additional software. After the assembly is loaded, the "Save As" dialog box is used to convert to the STL format, using the "Fine" resolution and "meters" for size to get the proper scale.

Importing the STL model into LW can be very lengthy, depending on size. Once it's done, I save it as a LW Object, and the job begins.

prometheus
01-20-2018, 11:35 AM
Deep Exploration has some fantastic capabilities --like placing a 3D model into a pdf and manipulating it within a tech manual; especially for maintenance procedures.

Converting a SolidWorks model for importing into LW is very easy, requiring no additional software. After the assembly is loaded, the "Save As" dialog box is used to convert to the STL format, using the "Fine" resolution and "meters" for size to get the proper scale.

Importing the STL model into LW can be very lengthy, depending on size. Once it's done, I save it as a LW Object, and the job begins.


Deep exploration isnīt the same anymore, and I donīt have acess to it anymore, not working at the same place either...but it was great to use, very nice UI and navigation, replacing parts, dimension tools, and as you said ..getting it to pdfīs etc.
I tried polytrans...but it really wasnīt in the same league as poly trans when it comes to how smooth the conversions went, along with reducing several thousands materials in to one, just search for the same materials select them and merge them as one.
I usually saved the object out as Obj with vertex normals intact, stl we tried..but obj offered a better export for me.

as for pdf, Design sparks mecanical, is a free cad tool that allows for importing obj formats, then just save out as 3Dpdfīs, thereīs a special button for that, in fact it is simpler than deep exploration pdf, but it is a bit more limited perhaps, but you get your views in there, and the pdf reader has itīs own measurements tool.
Design sparks is quite nice as well, we actually adapted Design Sparks for where I work now, and made customized parts for a client..the parts is a kind of flange for flow meters, the cad file was then sent for manufacturing.
canīt say it has any kind of type of modeling tool such as spline bridge, probably not, but it has some nifty tools for creating holes, interactively in arrays as seen with this flange, and also fillet of corners, with dimension tools, and they are dynamicly changable at any type, so I can go back in and change fillett round, or hole dimensions...by simply entering a new dimension value.

https://www.matarkontroll.se/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Kundanpassning_1000x1000.png

art
03-06-2018, 07:03 AM
Art's Sphere bezier bridge is limited to matching ends to a single polygon.
I wanted to fix that for years but never got to it and LW uncertainty didn't help. Well, let me see what can be done about it (my plugin, not the uncertainty :))...

gar26lw
03-06-2018, 07:15 AM
I wanted to fix that for years but never got to it and LW uncertainty didn't help. Well, let me see what can be done about it (my plugin, not the uncertainty :))...

thanks

prometheus
03-06-2018, 10:44 AM
I wanted to fix that for years but never got to it and LW uncertainty didn't help. Well, let me see what can be done about it (my plugin, not the uncertainty :))...

I wish they could buy you out, strip that line of code ..the best from your plugin, merge it with the newly implemented native spline bridge, some kind of decent payment for it.
otherwise we will end up with a native spline tool not being able to have tension, and we may have an updated spline bridge from you..and when the lw team changes something with new modeling tools, it may fall behind.

itīs a win win situation in my little fantasy book if they could buy this out, we would have one plugin, natively instead of two plugins ..one working like meh, and one uncertain of itīs durance, and you would get a bit for the work and can carry on with other things.

Thanks for the work you do art.

Michael

gar26lw
03-06-2018, 03:39 PM
I wish they could buy you out, strip that line of code ..the best from your plugin, merge it with the newly implemented native spline bridge, some kind of decent payment for it.
otherwise we will end up with a native spline tool not being able to have tension, and we may have an updated spline bridge from you..and when the lw team changes something with new modeling tools, it may fall behind.

itīs a win win situation in my little fantasy book if they could buy this out, we would have one plugin, natively instead of two plugins ..one working like meh, and one uncertain of itīs durance, and you would get a bit for the work and can carry on with other things.

Thanks for the work you do art.

Michael

oh god no! then we rely on newtek. i much prefer 3rd party. tools work and we get updates that are not tied to some schedule.

again, thanks art. your plugins are awesome. just sell privately and we give money directly to you. paypal would work.