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Thread: Please add Modeling tools to Layout!!

  1. #1
    Member SCS5's Avatar
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    Please add Modeling tools to Layout!!

    In Lightwave, Please add some modeling tools to layout. I’ve been using Lightwave since v4, and the most frustrating thing for me is the fact that Modeler and Layout are still separate!! I’ve heard the arguments against it, clutter, simplicity, etc.…. But, can any one tell me why it would be bad to be able to animate a vehicle, character or logo by just pulling on some points or twisting, sculpting, and reshaping the model on the fly, and keyframing the “tweaks” right there in Layout. The increase in productivity would be HUGE!!! Get an idea in Layout, make the change, keyframe it, and move on. If this is a bad thing then please enlighten me!

    All I’m thinking is another tab on top in Layout that would open a set of modeling tools on the left side of the screen. Bend, Dragnet, Twist, Magnet, Booleans, Etc. Basically, most of the tools in under the Modeler Modify, Multiply, & Construct Tabs All keyframeable. No more complex than Layout is today, just 100 times more powerful.

    This way all the people who want to keep it seperate can have it that way, but, any one who wants to have the power of both just a keyframe away can have that too. Lets catch up with the rest of the 3D world…. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    It may not be exactly what you're looking for, but Bend, Pole, Shear, Taper, Twist, and Vortex are already in Layout (Object Properties/Deform/Add Displacement).

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    Member SCS5's Avatar
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    I know about these options, I've used them, a+b null controls..... clunky at best. These are just simple and not very versitle workarounds.

    I'm talking about real modeling in Layout. Select points, or ploys, Bevel, Magic Bevel, Drill a hole, Drag points, whatever, animate it. Keyframe, done!.

  4. #4
    dynamics...so much fun ;) prospector's Avatar
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    You can also manipulate points in layout as shown on Protons demo of the cloth cut.
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    Member SCS5's Avatar
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    Yes I've seen this tut. too........ Jumping through hoops to accomplish simple tasks. Why is everyone happy with workarounds instead of making the program really powerful? You can do lots of things in 10 or 20 steps now. Got an idea for a change in Layout, go to modeler, pick Endomorph, give it a name, pull some points, save the model, Synchronize Layout, go to Layout, Object/hit P for Properties/go to Deform/pick Morphmixer/ open Morph mixer/ drag sliders/ set Keyframe......I like that, looks good, ...but wait, I want to move some other points too.................Oh no!!!

    Wouldn’t it be better to just pick drag points in Layout, interactively pick the diameter & drag them, then set a keyframe for this move? Presto, done!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCS5
    Wouldn’t it be better to just pick drag points in Layout, interactively pick the diameter & drag them, then set a keyframe for this move? Presto, done!
    I think because putting controls like that opens a huge can of worms. It's one of those things that sounds like a simple thing, but if you were to really try to think about how you'd use it or how you'd expect it to behave given other use cases it become a lot less clear what exactly you want.

    e.g.

    Do you save your mesh modifications with the object or the scene file? Probably the scene file, since you're animating them, but then what happens if you go change the original mesh object? The vertex ID's are not guaranteed to stay the same and you may even have deleted the points you were animating in Layout.

    Are you saving the modifications as a world space translate offset or local space translate? Or rotate or scale? Or in some other space determined by local bones? If you pull a few points on the wrist and then later go change the rotation of your shoulder bone, what do those points do? Or if you rip out the arm bones and rerig it?

    How do you find and modify your mesh modifications? You can't have all hundred thousand points in your various scene/graph editors. Do you want your scene file to be bloated with gigabytes of per-point mesh animation keyframes?

    etc....
    --


    Ken

  7. #7
    *Gets ready to make educated guesses based on many years of computer programming*

    One thing which most likely makes changes like this much harder for Lightwave is the extensive plug-in architecture, and the huge supply of existant plug-ins. I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that the lion's share of work (especially testing, but possibly coding too) of an average feature change goes towards making sure support for existing plug-ins is maintained. It's not just direct support either - plug-ins interact with each other in a variety of ways.

    It boggles the mind how NewTek is able to make release after release and maintain support for plug-ins from so long ago. Sure, sometimes things break, but they're generally fixed quickly, either by NewTek or by the plug-in author.

    Not really 100% on topic, just another perspective on LW enhancements.

  8. #8
    Intersting topic. If we knew all that had to be done to really make a program work a lot of us - self included - would be overwhumped.

    This is magic, but it's not. It is the result of hard work to bring about a vision.

    Without vision there is no purpose for the work. What that work entails to bring about the vision is subordinate to vision. Of course a vision completely out of touch with the estimated effort to bring it off is not productive.

    This kind of vision might well be embraced in the area of a plug in. I don't think this vision is that far off. It is certainly not out of sync with what is being done. Maybe lightwave is not in the development stage right now to have something built in but I don't see why a plugin could not be written to take advantage of the deformation features.

    If you can use an image map or a procedural to deform a mesh why not some other interface? There is obviously some way to get at the point data in an existing mesh and though maybe it would be a bit of a stretch to put object creation in Layout, I don't think that is what is being asked for here, only deformation data.

    It certainly is not out of the realm of possiblility.

    I once had a major feature request for a popular editing program. My idea was compelling enough I was actually able to get the head of programming on the phone!

    I explained in detail what I wanted. He agreed it was cool and said I could do it in After Effects. I didn't want to do that. I wanted it in the program. He told me not to expect it any tiome soon and gave me the number of a plug in programer , who I contacted and again describned in detail what I wanted via email. We never followed up on the plan.

    The next version that came out on that software had my idea in full functionality just as I had requested it. yet at the time I had asked for it it was far ahead. But I could see that the basic tools were just about there in the program. It was not an out of touch request as others wanted it too or it would not have been included. It was something that was already available in competing programs.

    The question here is, how much do people want this? I don't think it is that far off the mark. I think it's a good idea and I engourage SCS5 to persue this with a vengence on the proper lines, call newtek, write it up, post it on spinquad and other forums, contact plug in programmers, make it happen. If newtek wont jump on it now, someday they will. Who knows what's in the works? In the mean time it might just have to be in your hands.

  9. #9
    3D Practitioner DigiLusionist's Avatar
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    I, for one, am far more interested in hearing about what could be done, than why it MIGHT be a problem to even try it.

    Can-Do attitude or Can't-Won't. Which attitude is part of the user and development team philosophy for LightWave?

  10. #10
    dynamics...so much fun ;) prospector's Avatar
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    Why is everyone happy with workarounds instead of making the program really powerful?

    Everyones not happy with workarounds.

    You asked for a way to manipulate objects in Layout like in modeler, and were reminded of a few ways. Are they 'workarounds'? What are they working 'around'?

    I would like to see the point manipulations taken a step furthur and be able to make a morph file from it.

    Will it happen?
    Dunno
    but if I thought of it then I am 99 and 44/100% sure some coder at Newtek already did and is either
    A working on it
    OR
    B tried to do it and found out it was just a black hole waiting to be filled by a coders sanity.

    So I wait......and work with what is there now.

    There are many many ways to do things in LW, I don't think they are workarounds, just different ways.
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  11. #11
    Respect The Architect Limbus's Avatar
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    Please add Modeler to Layout or vice versa. Everything else is a work around in my eyes.

    Florian
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  12. #12
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    Clearly you have different eyes to me and a lot of others too..

  13. #13
    Super Member Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    The real reason I prefer Lightwave over anything else is the fact that modelling and seting up the scene are separate (from a user interface point of view, not a technical one). It really makes everything so much easier. One way to (theoretically) solve the problem with editing objects in a scene without actually seeing the scene would be if NewTek combined Layout and Modeler into the same application, but still had the interfaces separate.

    How about this? You have a scene set up in Layout, just like now. If you clone an object, all the clones will reflect the changes you make to the original object. If you want to change an object's geometry (in the Modeler part), just double-click (or something) the object and it'll just switch contex to have only modeling tools, just like Modeler today. But how about if it had an option to display the entire scene in the background, with all the clones of the object and all (and probably a bounding box mode on the background to increase performace on complex scenes)? That would make setting up objects correctly easy, and still maintain the advantage of having them separate (again, from a user's point of view, not an engineer's). You don't have to integrate modeling and setup to fix this problem.

  14. #14
    Respect The Architect Limbus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Obvious
    The real reason I prefer Lightwave over anything else is the fact that modelling and seting up the scene are separate (from a user interface point of view, not a technical one). It really makes everything so much easier. One way to (theoretically) solve the problem with editing objects in a scene without actually seeing the scene would be if NewTek combined Layout and Modeler into the same application, but still had the interfaces separate.
    Look at how XSI is doing this. Nice clean interface and it doesnt need a crutch called hub.
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  15. #15
    Super Member Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limbus
    Look at how XSI is doing this. Nice clean interface and it doesnt need a crutch called hub.
    I can't. My PC is dysfunctional. Care to link to some screen shots or something such? A video tutorial showing off the user interface?

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