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ngrava
04-04-2004, 05:01 PM
Iíve have this idea that Iíve been kicking around for a couple of weeks now. Maybe someone else has thought of this too? I was thinking of the integration of Layout and Modeler and how to accomplish this as simply and easily as possible without completely destroying the current workflow.

If you where to add animation tools to Modeler, my guess is that you would have to completely rewrite it from scratch or at least severely disrupt the current workflow. Not that Iím against that, itís just that it seems a little unreasonable at this time.

However, if you where to add modeling tools to Layout, it might not be as difficult as it might seem. And, it might be possible with very little alteration to the SDK. Hereís what Iím thinking:

Displacement plug ins have access to the mesh of an object. You could build a number of creation and modification plug ins that worked inside the displacement category. Currently the issue (as I understand it) is that Displacement plug ins can only alter or modify geometry. So, Assuming you could overcome this limitation, it might just be possible to do it. An interesting side effect of making them Displacement plug ins is that you basically get the equivalent of a modifier stack because displacement is evaluated in order of appearance in the plug in list! Also, since Displacement plug ins are evaluated on a per-frame basis, you could potentially have animated modeling operations.

One scenario might go something like this: Add a null, add a create > box plug in in the displacement tab of the properties panel, a box appears in the window of Layout, add a subdivide plug in and metaform it, drag some points around (every modeling plug in would have a drag tool built into it and store the modification as a simple displacement cached inside that plug in), add a bevel plug in and have at it, add a smooth shift, add a cut, ect., ect,. Each plug in would have to hand the modified mesh to the next one in the list otherwise you wouldnít get predictable results. Every plug in could implement a set of unique handle tools for manipulating itís modifications. These tools become active when the plug in is active (when itĎs window is displayed. The movement of these handles can thus be keyframed. I guess, parameters that didnít have handles could have envelopes associated with them but I think that might become a little confusingÖ maybe not, at any rate, the potential is there for envelopes too.

One thing Iím wondering about is, if displacement plug ins canít create points in Layout, how do particles do this? Are all the possible points added at initialization? I hope Iím just out of the loop and there really is a way that I just donít know about. If there is a way, then I bet modeling plug ins could be created right now.

I think thereís a lot of potential in this and I hope other plug in developers are listening and have time to think about this too. The main reason I think it would be best as a displacement plug in is the potential for a list bases modifier stack. That could really create some very interesting results.

So, does anyone have any thoughts about this?

Thanks,

-=GB=-

DigiLusionist
04-05-2004, 05:24 PM
I'm all for this capability. Modeling for animation is difficult in a modeling environment where you have to take extra steps to get feedback on how things will look when deformed after the fact.

kfiram
04-05-2004, 05:47 PM
I've had the same idea ever since 6.0 came out.
It's just unbelievable to me that if I want to create a simple sphere or box, I have to load a seperate application.
What we need is a new class under the Layout "Add" menu. Something along the lines of "Custom Object", called "Custom Primitive". This should have all the options of the Modeler primitives, mimicking Modeler's numeric panel.
This could either be achieved via a similar system to the "Add Partigon" plugin (asking us to save the newly created object) or through Layout's "Object Replacement" plugin class (that allows the creation of points and polygons, which "Object Displacement" can not accomplish). Alternatively, you could have a new plugin class called "Primitives", that would also allow third party plugins (for trees, hair, custom-made humans, custom-made terrains and what-not).
On top of that, you would of course need new displacement plugins to mimic Modeler's Modify tools, and another plugin class to allow adding and deleting of polygons and/or points.
This would basicly mean adding a Modifier Stack and an "Edit Mesh" / "Edit Poly" method to Layout.
Of course, this doen't have to completely replace Modeler, but rather complement it. For more complex missions, Modeler is still a must.

Zach
04-05-2004, 06:14 PM
I just don't know man.

Modeling in Layout is just not something I think should happen.

I wouldn't mind modeling to a wireframe of a layout scene in modeler though. That would be awesome. That way you can do quick models relative to the objects scale in Layout. It would just be a Layout, wireframe snapshot you could use as a template in modeler.

Now that doesn't seem so hard. maybe it is.

hrgiger
04-05-2004, 09:36 PM
I wouldn't want to see someone's version of integrating Lightwave by adding modeler tools to layout. That's half-assed. If they're going to integrate it, write it from the ground up.

As Hicks said in Aliens, it's the only way to be sure...

kfiram
04-05-2004, 10:29 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger
If they're going to integrate it, write it from the ground up.

Sure, but in the meantime...

Aegis
04-06-2004, 12:37 AM
I'd just prefer to see better communication between Layout and Modeler so that changes made in Modeler are instantly reflected in Layout - I actually like having a separate modelling package and it works great having Layout on one monitor and Modeler on the other :)

Chris S. (Fez)
04-06-2004, 02:00 AM
1) Layout should be open on the second monitor and any changes to geometry and weight maps should be seen instantly. We should be able to toggle this "realtime" mode.

2) There should be a "Modelout" mode in modeler which, indeed, sends deformed objects out of Layout and into modeler. In this "Modelout" mode there should be a timeline coordinated with the Layout timeline and a Camera view coordinated with the Layout camera view. This would be very useful to many of us, from smartskin to viewdependent modeling and deformations.

Nemoid
04-06-2004, 03:31 AM
Could be a temporary solution, but i don't like it so much, and dunno if would work for things like sm shifting, extruding and much more.

instead, it would be interesting as a little toolset for better object deformation while animating. :)

i'd like more a full integration, to have a real common modelling toolset at my disposal for animation/deformation tasks. even because we have cool tools in modeler wich if integrated would allow to make astonishing things , becoming useful both for modelling and deformation.

also, thinking that the code of Lightwave is plain C, migrating to another environment (preferably in C++ pls) as Chuck stated Nt wants to do opens many possibilities of this kind and creating such tools especially if difficult, could reveal to be totally unuseful.

sadkkf
04-06-2004, 07:41 AM
Looking at Proton's Rotate Skelegons preview vid, it seems we have some layout features in modeler.

These are the ideas that make the most sense to me. It's cumbersome modeling something, moving to layout to preview deforms or surfaces, then back to modeler for some finessing.

Mikeface
04-06-2004, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by hrgiger
I wouldn't want to see someone's version of integrating Lightwave by adding modeler tools to layout. That's half-assed. If they're going to integrate it, write it from the ground up.

As Hicks said in Aliens, it's the only way to be sure...

Giger, are you suggesting that we nuke Lightwave from orbit?? That's just crazy...

hrgiger
04-06-2004, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by kfiram
Sure, but in the meantime...

No, not for me. Newtek should be working on adding new features and optimising Lightwave. NOT wasting valuable time adding OLD existing features from modeler to Layout.

And yes Mikeface, I'm suggesting we nuke the site from orbit. Damn the cost of this installation. They can bill me.

tingham
04-06-2004, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by sadkkf
Looking at Proton's Rotate Skelegons preview vid, it seems we have some layout features in modeler.

These are the ideas that make the most sense to me. It's cumbersome modeling something, moving to layout to preview deforms or surfaces, then back to modeler for some finessing.

I believe ( and please correct me if I'm wrong ) but Rotate Skelegons is just another edit mode. There is a plugin available from ( FI I think ) called Rotate Skelegons, I didn't try it but only because I didn't have time.

In the example, you'll see that Proton keeps undoing his rotation after he tests a move, this is the telling part that this function is not really the same as bones deformation in layout, just another Edit Mode. There are even the tell-tale cyan lines all over the place, which scream the LW Guide path.

-thomas

sadkkf
04-06-2004, 06:49 PM
tingham--

That's entirely possible. I was only watching the arm object bend according to the weight maps. All the details of this is, naturally, wholly speculative at this point.

I can't imagine it's exactly the same as the bone deformation, but if it's a close approximation, it should be a time saver. :)