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Thread: Rendering Display Utilities Like Item Scene Comments and Range Finder

  1. #1
    Lightwaver Cobalt's Avatar
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    Rendering Display Utilities Like Item Scene Comments and Range Finder

    Hello - I use "Range Finder" and "Item Comments" utilities frequently in my visualization work. But currently, the only way I know how to export video with these features enabled is to use the "Make Preview" feature on the timeline and save as an uncompressed AVI. There appears to be no way to have these displayed screen utilities rendered in the camera settings. Is this true or am I missing something?

    Thanks for your time!

  2. #2
    LightWave documentation BeeVee's Avatar
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    You don't have to save as uncompressed. You can install the XViD codec and set your preview options to use that when saving.

    B
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  3. #3
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    Is this for an animation, or a still? In other words, for Range Finder, would the distance value change over time, or is it static?

    I don't know how to access the Item Comments programmatically, so until the SDK is changed to allow access to it, I don't think that's feasible.

    I've done three kinds of "Heads Up Display" (HUD) for rendered LW animations. For the first type, I create a very tiny Text object with pure luminescent white (or other color), parent it to the Camera, and move it down the Z axis a little so it's very close to the Camera and the desired size. By parenting it to the Camera down the Z axis, it's always right in front of the camera regardless of camera motion.

    The "rubber banding" of the Range Finder I've done with a very thin object (even a 2-point polygon), 1-meter long object modeled down the Z axis. This is then parented to the "Base Item", has its Target Item set to the "Target Object" in the Motion Options panel, and a Nodal Motion graph which gets the distance to the Target item and sets up a (1,1,Distance) scaling vector:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	01_RubberBanding_NodalMotion.jpg 
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    Here's a simple animation showing the Camera-parented text and the rubber banding:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CameraParented_RubberBanding_Sample.jpg 
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    SurfaceTest_Geometries_1_WithLabels.mov SurfaceTest_Geometries_1_WithLabels.mov

    The second type of HUD is only good for numeric output, and uses a node network I created to modify the Surface Transparency of a multi-part (i.e. multi-polygon) Object. It can change over time, accepting as input any nodally calculated value (e.g. Distance, an Object's X,Y or Z position, or other value), and uses the U offset into an Image Texture containing "0123456789" to place the correct digit in the correct Part. Here's an animation showing that type of HUD (which I've posted before in another thread):

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	02_NumericHUD.jpg 
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ID:	145545 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Final_Render_030.jpg 
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    Cube_TransparencyTest_WithHUD.mov Cube_TransparencyTest_WithHUD.mov

    Unfortunately, the node network for this type of HUD output isn't very generalized, and requires a separate Surface for each HUD Display since the input to the Compound node is different for each Display. Here's the node setup and the referenced Compound Node for the Transparency display:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	01_NumericOuputDisplay_NodeSetup.jpg 
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ID:	145548 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	02_NumericOuputDisplay_CompoundNode.jpg 
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    and I've attached that Scene file. I don't have the time this morning to write it up, though!

    The third type of HUD I've done is using an Image Processing plug-in I wrote YEARS ago which uses Windows GDI functions to draw into the output render frame. Since it's a plug-in, it can access pretty much any values in LW scenes, objects, etc. and format them into the output render.

    I tried to find my old examples of this kind of HUD, but it's so old I'll have to pull it from my old backups IF I find one or more of them. It looks very similar to the type of HUD in the Cube_TransparencyTest_WithHUD movie, but generated using an Image Processing plug-in rather than the U-offset into the numeric text Image.

    I can post details when I have the time on how to do these if any of them might be of use for your requirements.

    mTp
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #4
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
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    Great ideas, MonroePeet. Thanks for including good screen grabs and content.

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