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jin choung
04-29-2003, 01:02 PM
so this is feature requests that are strictly within the narrow focus that has been stated in the newtek press release concerning lw 8.

1. move the CONTENT DIRECTORY out of OPTIONS to under FILE!!! along with load, save, etc. That's where it rightly belongs and it should simply pop up a small dialogue.

2. create a tab for PLUGINS in the main interface and have all the plugins reside there until reassigned. right now, having them all reside under CONSTRUCT>ADDITIONAL is less than intuitive.

3. move edge smoothing out of SURFACE MENU! it rightly belongs as an object property - (it is NOT by definition need to reside as a surface property and there are many times when it is better when they are independent) but we don't have edges that can be tagged smooth/unsmooth as an object property. most consistent thing to do would be to create edge entities and then have EDGE MAPS (although this can perhaps internally be simply VMAPS with additional data?).

jin

jin choung
04-29-2003, 06:21 PM
oh and....

1. consolidate all the GLOW ACTIVATION buttons into ONE FREAKING PLACE!!! i think that you have to turn it on in three disparate places right now to get glow on!

2. strip the camera panel down of most of its settings that properly belong in RENDER settings.

jin

jin choung
04-29-2003, 07:06 PM
oh yeah,

the ability to have a FIXED GRID SIZE so that it doesn't pop up and down while you zoom in and out.

and the ability to have SNAP TO VISIBLE GRID POINTS.

jin

Mylenium
04-30-2003, 12:28 AM
Hi jin,

What's bothering you with the grid changing its size (in Modeler)? It's more practical than having a fixed grid size. Imagine you set you grid to a large size and then zoom in - you would rather soon loose sight of your grid.

Grid snapping: You already kinda get this with standard snapping (since the grid will be adaptively resized), so what's the deal?

As for you edges request: This doesn't make much sense to me since it will not improve workflow (even though this is the way it is handled in Maya). You see, even if it was there you would still have to select edges and assign them attributes. To me this is basically the same like selecting polys and assigning them different surfaces. I agree that having multiple surfaces that basically look the same but have different smoothing angles is sometimes a bit confusing, but i guess one can get used to it. For the renderer surely this will be no problem. It will just have to look up an additional VMap instead of calculating normals itself.

Mylenium

jin choung
04-30-2003, 12:56 AM
howdy,

well, unless you've encountered a problem with the workflow, you wouldn't see any need for change.

but the simple fact that you haven't experienced the need doesn't make the requests any less valid.

i would rather that i have the ability to fix a grid size so that when i ZOOM OUT to deal with more points, the grid remains fixed to the smaller size so that i could still VISIBLY snap multiple verts to the grid that i want - instead of popping larger and being unable to see the units i want.

i don't want to impose this as a mandate... so people like you should still be able to get your way. but i want the OPTION to have it mine.

as i said many times before, this is why EDGES make sense:

1. we need the ability to WEIGHT EDGES for SUBDIVISION SURFACES. if you don't see why this is different from vertex weighting (which we do have), go read past posts and find out. it's different and it's valuable.

2. the ability to select edges and mark them to smooth or unsmooth.

for TV/FILM, you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT: it is not NECESSARY. you can easily use multiple surfaces or simply unweld at the seams.

however, for GAME ASSETS, neither is a very good solution. creating multiple surfaces that look the same just to get a hard edge creates overhead that is significant for game content. unwelding of verts is not desirable because it multiplies vert count and for some circumstances (like STENCIL BUFFER SHADOWS), it creates ERROR SITUATIONS because all the geometry that is affected by such shadows must be SOLIDS.

also, it's simply an UNECESSARY RELATIONSHIP. you can have edges that are hard or soft independent of its material... so why embed this property in the material?

it is not clean.

3. every other app has edges. in this world where you can have multiple apps working with and across each other, it's not good business to make your app needlessly alien.

my question is WHY NOT? why not give users edges? every reason against is tied to legacy and pragmatism - not to ideals.

you might as well ask, "why give us the ability to select polys?" we can do everything we want with just VERTS! sure, a few things will be more difficult and we'll have to devise some workarounds (like dstorm's POLYTOOLS) but hey, we don't really need polys....

in this world we live in, the STANDARD 3D ENTITIES that are the objects of manipulation and operations for almost every other app out there that deals with polys are:
A. VERTS
B. EDGES
C. POLYS
D. UVS

we don't have entity D. either and because of that, we have to end up welding and unwelding all the time.

jin

wizlon
04-30-2003, 02:54 AM
I agree with Jin, these are features we really need, and SDS needs a boost - edge weighting is a must. Just look at what C4D is doing!

http://www.maxon.de/pages/products/c4d/movie_modeling.html

http://www.maxon.de/pages/dyn_files/dyn_htx/htx/408/00408_00409.html

Mylenium
04-30-2003, 03:28 AM
Hi Jin, hi wizlon,

I know the differences between edge and point weighting - I'm also a Maya user after all. It just wasn't obvious to me that for games it would matter to have extra edge attributes since I do not normally do any low poly stuff for such things.

Mylenium

DaveW
04-30-2003, 01:18 PM
Jin, what camera settings do you think should be in the render options? Everything there directly affects the camera, I don't see why any of it should go in the render options.

Mylenium
04-30-2003, 01:47 PM
Well, actually a lot there doesn't belong to camera properties (in the strict technical sense). Anti aliasing and field settings are definitely render properties. I guess one more reason for an interface cleanup.

Mylenium

DaveW
04-30-2003, 01:59 PM
I think AA should be in the camera panel because DOF and motion blur are camera properties that are directly affected by AA settings. Very nice when working with multiple cameras.

I guess field options could go in the render panel, but it doesn't exactly clutter the interface and one could argue that it's specific to the camera, not the scene. Doesn't really matter to me.

jin choung
04-30-2003, 02:24 PM
hey dave,

actually, i couldn't disagree with you more.

the ONLY attributes that are directly associated with the in scene camera are:
0. Aspect Ratio (we don't have this)
1. Zoom Factor (FOV)
2. Aperture Height
3. Stereo and DOF tab
4. Mask Options

everything else is properly a RENDER SETTING. the camera in a 3d scene is just a gizmo that determines what you're looking at. how things end up looking in the final render are all render properties.

so for instance, you can determine a specific zoom factor and aspect ratio in the camera. but this is not essentially related to the RENDER RESOLUTION which can be determined independently in the render tab (though if an aspect ratio is determined in camera, the render settings will be multiples of....).

so resolution, antialiasing, pixel aspect ratio... these are all most properly render properties.

but don't just take my word for it. look at almost every other app out there. ours is a decidedly illogical way of organizing these settings.

as for having multiple cameras, most of the time, the only thing that should change within a scene is the camera properties that i've outlined. how many times are you changing render resolution in a shot sequence?

also, we currently don't have the ability to switch cameras during a single render session anyway apart from screamernet. and if you're using screamer net, you can set up multiple scenes for different cams anyway.

although if they had the ability to independently set render settings for different cameras in the render tab, that would be okay by me.

jin

Adrian Lopez
04-30-2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by jin choung
unwelding of verts is not desirable because it multiplies vert count and for some circumstances (like STENCIL BUFFER SHADOWS), it creates ERROR SITUATIONS because all the geometry that is affected by such shadows must be SOLIDS.While I love the idea of creating edges without unwelding a model (why should I have to unweld a box just to give it sharp edges?), I want to comment on the vertex count issue: Because an edge's visibility depends on having two different normals at each end of an edge, representing an edge requires that you either be able to specify more than one normal per vertex, or express each of the edge's endpoints as a pair of vertices, each with a different normal. I don't know about Direct3D, but in OpenGL it isn't possible to specify more than one normal per vertex. Therefore it's not possible to draw an edge in OpenGL without increasing the vertex count relative to the "welded" model.

It should also be possible to determine solidity by treating vertices with identical values as if they were a single vertex (this is essentially what Lightwave does when looking for vertices to weld together).

Of course, none of this is an argument against what you propose. It shouldn't be necessary to unweld a model to produce an edge, nor should it be necessary to weld / unweld a model to get welded / unwelded UVs.

jin choung
04-30-2003, 08:05 PM
howdy adrian,

yah, i'm pretty sure that's how D3D does it too.... so in order to create a hard edge, the app does indeed have to consider the verts unwelded....

but it may nonetheless consider a mesh whose verts are actually unwelded as being a problem... depending on how it's programmed. and i'm sure that exporters like deep exploration will not export the unwelded verts as 'hard edges' in converting to max or maya.

in any case, it's better to have the option of tagging edges hard/soft.

and it can be a pain to work on a mesh that you can't merge verts willy nilly because you have to maintain certain hard edges....

jin

amorano
04-30-2003, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by wizlon
I agree with Jin, these are features we really need, and SDS needs a boost - edge weighting is a must. Just look at what C4D is doing!

http://www.maxon.de/pages/products/c4d/movie_modeling.html

http://www.maxon.de/pages/dyn_files/dyn_htx/htx/408/00408_00409.html

Nothing new here for LW. Dunno how long you have used the program, but weightmaps have been around a long time.

That demo is merely modified sub-patch weights

jin choung
05-01-2003, 02:04 AM
argh,

not [email protected]#$king again!!!!!! every time this topic comes up, there's somebody who comes in with the exact wrong info....

how long have you used lw amorano?!?!

there is a difference in what C4D is now doing with EDGE WEIGHTING as opposed to what lw does with VERTEX WEIGHTING!!!

with edge weighting, you sharpen DIRECTIONALLY along the edge. with vertex weighting, you sharpen EVERY EDGE CONVERGING INTO THAT POINT!!! huge difference!

edge weighting is useful for creating wrinkles and adjust curvature.... vertex weighting is decidedly less useful and pretty much allows you to make 'roundy facets'....

jin

amorano
05-01-2003, 03:53 AM
Originally posted by jin choung
argh,

not [email protected]#$king again!!!!!! every time this topic comes up, there's somebody who comes in with the exact wrong info....

how long have you used lw amorano?!?!

there is a difference in what C4D is now doing with EDGE WEIGHTING as opposed to what lw does with VERTEX WEIGHTING!!!

with edge weighting, you sharpen DIRECTIONALLY along the edge. with vertex weighting, you sharpen EVERY EDGE CONVERGING INTO THAT POINT!!! huge difference!

edge weighting is useful for creating wrinkles and adjust curvature.... vertex weighting is decidedly less useful and pretty much allows you to make 'roundy facets'....

jin

While I see what you mean, it is still nothing that can not be done already.

And for the record, using LW 5 years, programming inhouse plugins 2. Not to mention Max and Maya.

Red_Oddity
05-01-2003, 04:17 AM
Actually, Lightwave CANNOT do edge weighting...

In order to get sharp edges in a SubD-ed object in Lightwave you need to INCREASE your POLY COUNT...
In a program that supports edge weighting it DOESN'T INCREASE poly counts.

So, yes, you CAN get sharp edges in LW, but with a hefty poly count penalty (and not to mention serious slowdowns in renders (OpenGL AND final renders) and in workflow)

Lamont
05-01-2003, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by jin choung
how long have you used lw amorano?!?!I think it's more "Don't you use LW for games?!?!".

Crap.. I gotta go... I'll post when I get home!

Matt
05-01-2003, 06:09 PM
jin is correct, there are lots of options in the wrong place that make finding themn difficult because you don't expect to find them there, especially for new users.

3D|Dave
05-01-2003, 06:55 PM
I agree about the camera and render panels. I would like to go one step furthure and ask for a global navigator that you can customize with selected tabs, such as;

Render Settings
Camera
Background / Backdrop
Volumetrics
Lights
Global Illumination
Image Editor
Post Processing
Plugins
Files

This way you wouldn't have to go all over to change settings.

It would also be nice to have a preview F9 camera setting that is independant of the rendering camera settings.

Lamont
05-01-2003, 08:29 PM
Edges would be sick. I need 'em for the techniques that I use for game stuff. Just having edges would reduce the amount of tools I use.

And whoever thinks weighting points and edges are the same is nuckin' futs.

The camera panel needs re-working and I don't reply to threads that say "How do I make things glow?" usualy. It's not in an intuitive spot.

Having the grid size stay the same when you zoom out is critical for me when I do level layout for real-time stuff. If I want my grid to be 10 meters, then it would really help if it stayed to 10 meters when I am looking at it from 1km above.

Jin, you should lay off the coffee... you're too wired.

I do appreciate all the people who make scripts and plug-ins to help with my modeling.

Snapping... ohhh sweet snaps. Normal, edge, point, grid.. it would be so good. But I think the move tool in Lightwave would have to be re-done. Right now you have to directly select what you want to move or move the whole layer.

I had more, but I got a new game...

DaveW
05-02-2003, 05:15 PM
I don't care how other apps do it, I still think the camera panel should stay the way it is. I like having resolution and aa settings be camera specific, makes it easier for test renders. I usually render a few frames at low-res, no aa (or low aa) and every now and then render with the final settings. All I have to do is click the appropriate camera. In fact, I'd even move the DOF blur and Vector Blur plugins and the raytracing options into the camera properties too so I can keep those camera specific. Spreadsheet would have to be updated of course so you could edit all these settings simultaneously if you wanted. And LS Commander would need to be improved so that it records everything you do in the camera panel so you can quickly add custom cameras to the scene. Then just click the appropriate camera in schematic view or scene editor and render away.

hrgiger
05-02-2003, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by amorano
While I see what you mean, it is still nothing that can not be done already.

And for the record, using LW 5 years, programming inhouse plugins 2. Not to mention Max and Maya.

You can't even compare what Lightwave does with subpatch weight with what C4D does with edge weighting. Not even close. We need edge weighting to model more efficiently with a minimum number of patches.

And having 5 years experience with Lightwave, you should know that.

Lamont
05-02-2003, 05:37 PM
...so you can quickly add custom cameras to the scene...You can do that now. In the config file you'll see camera presets, just the basic stuff though.

Didn't say move, just another location.

DaveW
05-02-2003, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by Lamont
You can do that now. In the config file you'll see camera presets, just the basic stuff though.


But, using LS Commander, you can't record all the camera settings for your custom cameras. You can load a camera from a scene file, but I'd rather have a one-click solution.

Lamont
05-02-2003, 08:36 PM
Yeah, all you can do is the basics:

ResolutionPreset 1000 710 1 0 0 1000 710 Ultra Comic (1000 x 710)

amorano
05-02-2003, 11:06 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger
You can't even compare what Lightwave does with subpatch weight with what C4D does with edge weighting. Not even close. We need edge weighting to model more efficiently with a minimum number of patches.

And having 5 years experience with Lightwave, you should know that.

Correct on both fronts. My point was that this is not impossible with the current, and or other iterations of the past, to do.

People seem to oo and awe over features that are more streamlined, which is a good thing, but to that point NT has been giving in over the last few releases for UBER next gen features when it in fact hasn't caught up on everything that is already present.

The SDK has been neglected for over 19 months now, since Ernie Wright left, Character tools are still much to be desired, and I don't consider adding 3rd party hacks as a fix, basic keytraker functions are not the nicest thing to work with, the spreedsheet is a great idea that is half implemented, etc etc...

I am not saying don't put new, exciting features in that other companies are, but rather, please focus on what is already there, streamline, and intergrate it in a way that makes the coders able to get at them, SINCE, the third party market is really what is taking up the slack for things that aren't implented.

Looking at the price of LW compared to other packages seems great until you realize to do the other half of what something like Maya can do natively requires the additional funds for 3rd party stuff.

Not a complaint mind you, just a fact of the current design.

Again, that goes back to making a good interface (LScript [improving but still lacking because the fundimental SDK upon which is built is not very good] and an imporved SDK API) to get to the core in order to expand the program without resorting to sitting around every 1.5 years waiting and whinning over what is missing.

A lot fo the things, minus reordering of panels (i.e. camera) and other GUI/Workflow tweaks, requested so far have been accomplished once if not twice or more via Lscripts and plugins. Flay is your friend.

I realize my earlier post failed to convey what I meant, sorry for my confused thoughts.

jin choung
05-02-2003, 11:34 PM
hey amorano,

that's my point too.

SDS in lw is still half-assed.

i'm making the same point you are... SDS is incomplete and i want it complete.

we need to be able to sharpen edges. we need to be able to uv map sds as robustly and distortion free as polys.

and edges is arguably one of the OLDEST concepts that has not been integrated into lw.

so by all means, let's start finishing off all these baby steps.

jin

amorano
05-03-2003, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by jin choung
hey amorano,

that's my point too.

so by all means, let's start finishing off all these baby steps.

jin


Yes, absolutely agree. I am all for new features and the other rigamorole, however, make my current version rock solid with all the fixes for the broken/buggy issues and I will prolly be so caught up in using it, new features won't really matter.

Unfortunately I don't forsee edge(s) comming in the next, i.e. 8, release. The evidence is right in the SDK, as it would be exceedingly difficult given the current object structures, not to mention that modeler and layout handle objects differently, thus making it twice the effort to bring into being.

I do hope they seriously look at the code structure, and I mean seriously. It is, for all the rants and raves otherwise, in serious need of an overhaul, if not complete rewrite.

Lamont
05-03-2003, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by amorano
Unfortunately I don't forsee edge(s) comming in the next, i.e. 8, release. The evidence is right in the SDK, as it would be exceedingly difficult given the current object structures, not to mention that modeler and layout handle objects differently, thus making it twice the effort to bring into being.
I have a feeling LW8 will have edges.

jin choung
05-03-2003, 05:35 PM
i desperately want edges too....

and all the things that go with them like harden/soften phong smoothing, sharpen/unsharpen sds, selection, manipulation....

but it does radically alter the object format for lwos so i'm doubtful as well....

sigh....

hopefully, i'll be pleasantly surprised.

jin