Saving + placing camera views?

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 From:  rhodesy
2396.1 
Sorry for the questions, but trying to use moi more in my workflow as im starting to think that it could be replacing archicad which i currently use as my modeller of choice (once we have good scene organisation tools of course!) Anyway are there any plans to have multiple views/cameras in one scene? possibly with some more control options too like a simple target cam? Also another suggestion would be the possiblity of creating sections through a model (purely for modelling purposes) by way of a parrallel projection cam with a cutting plane. This would be very useful for architectural work.

Cheers.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2396.2 In reply to 2396.1 
Hi rhodesy, probably all these things will happen eventually but probably not until there is some more focus on some rendering, for example a "target cam" type thing I would typically associate more with rendered output rather than as a modeling aid...

If you do want to fix your target point at a specific point to help you work in that area, that is currently possible with the "Zoom area" tool (at the toolbar that is at the bottom of the viewport). That lets you zoom to a particular smaller region but also the first point you pick in the center of the area will also become the target point that you pivot around.

Also if you want to go to a specific view angle (like angle of elevation for example), you can do that with the settings under Options / View / 3D view angles.


There are a few different ways you can create planar sections now - probably the easiest is to draw a line and then replicate it using Transform / Array / Dir. Then Construct / Curve / Project can be used to project the line onto your object to make planar curve slices.

In a similar way, Boolean Intersection can be used to generate slices that are planar faces rather than curves, like this:





Let me know if you need more info on this method.

- Michael

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 From:  rhodesy
2396.3 
Thanks again, yes I had considered the boolean slice using a line however this actually splits the model in two and to view your section you would need to delete half of your model element by element (or possibly hide it). Yeah spline projection would work better to obtain a line drawing of your section but again each element will be cut and need to be selected and moved to the side to view it. Also this method dosent let you move or work on the actual objects of a scene - it is really just to make working on larger models - say buildings with interiors easier, but i guess moi wasn't specifically designed for that - just a suggestion, and I know you must be busy with other stuff higher up the list!

With the camera movement options - your right the area zoom does work well, however another wish would be a way to simply control the rotation of the camera, currently i might end up looking at an object on its side and need to rotate the camera 90degrees or so, so i do lots of little circles with the camera rotate gizmo and eventually i'll come round. It would be nice to have a way to twist or re-orientate the camera whilst looking at the same point if you see what i mean?

Anyway thanks again and sorry for the pestering!
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2396.4 In reply to 2396.3 
Hi rhodesy, maybe I misunderstood what you are asking for with the planar sections stuff - are you asking for what is sometimes called a "clipping plane" where it basically temporarily hides a chunk of your model from view rather than generating curve or surface data?

When you mentioned for modeling purposes I had thought you meant generating model data...


> It would be nice to have a way to twist or re-orientate
> the camera whilst looking at the same point if you see
> what i mean?

Yup, actually that is what should be happening already with placing the target point with that "Zoom area" tool.

Here's a quick screencap:



In the example above, I placed the target point of the view directly on to the corner of that box by using Zoom Area. Then notice how when I rotate the view after that, it is always looking directly at that same point (that same corner of the box)... Is that what you are looking for?

I guess if you are seeing something a lot different than that, I may need some more description or illustration to understand, sorry!

- Michael
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 From:  rhodesy
2396.5 In reply to 2396.4 
> are you asking for what is sometimes called a "clipping plane" where it basically temporarily hides a chunk of your model from view rather than generating curve or surface data?

Yes that's it, a clipping plane with edges that can be snapped to if needed. like having the function of the c-plane tool for working which works well on the outside of a building model but with a way of camera clipping away the external walls etc when it's needed inside. This would be useful in all views (otho and perspective).

Im thinking this through as i go along and the more i think the more useful i think it would be - (for me anyway!)....Ive done a simple scene where i have a solid envolpe to the building and now i want to work inside the building where the block is. I understand this can be achieved with hiding stuff but in an ideal world it would be nice to set a cutting plane that can slice the building (or selection or layer) at a set height or angle so I can then continue to work in the top or front views for example with ease and use the c-plane on objects inside the building if needed.



Actually I think im asking for two things here:
1: a global clipping plane(s) that allows the user to specify a cutting height using a line(s) drawn in the model which activates a visual but not literal boolean subtraction of either the whole model or specified objects or layers (say roof and external walls layers). As i mentioned it would be a visual boolean only so if I say wanted to punch a door in the external wall with a real boolean subtraction it would effect the hidden part as well as the visual one when the clipping plane is removed.



2: this could replace point 1 with extended functionality. currently if I wanted to opperate on the internal blocks surface in an otho view I would need to hide interferreing objects and then use the c-plane. if select the surface i want to work on moi could then cut the model visually along that plane so the otho cameras would be flat on it with no interference from objects between the surface and the camera. Does this make sense?

Just my thoughts anyway - and probably not xplained them terribly well but hopefully you get the idea,

Cheers

EDITED: 12 Feb 2009 by RHODESY

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 From:  BurrMan
2396.6 In reply to 2396.5 
I was wondering if "where the viewport is zoomed and located" is captureable/definable data for a script? Then, like the light, I could set up some "Presets" and jump around the scene with keystrokes.

Thanks,
Burr
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2396.7 In reply to 2396.5 
Hi rhodesy, re: clippling plane - yes I understand now what you are asking for.

That is something that I generally associate more with rendering and presentation type functions though (for a cut-away presentation view) - so far it is something that will probably happen in the future but probably not until a batch of rendering related work takes place. I'm not quite sure exactly when that will happen, but I would guess in v3 sometime.

If something is getting in your way, it is just more simple to hide that stuff rather than have things that involve picking multiple points and different options, etc... - that kind of multi stage stuff tends to add complexity to the UI and it is a big focus of MoI to have things simple and easy to use, so some things that tend to be more complex I kind of postpone for a while.


Also, did the Zoom Area screencap above explain how the target/pivot point works? Does that do what you need for keeping the camera focused on a specific point like you were asking about?

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2396.8 In reply to 2396.6 
Hi Burr,

> I was wondering if "where the viewport is zoomed
> and located" is captureable/definable data for a script?

It wasn't available in v1, but in the last v2 beta the camera and target points are now available to scripts.

For example here is a script that will copy the camera and target locations to the clipboard as a text string:

script:var v = moi.ui.mainWindow.viewpanel.getViewport('3D'); moi.copyTextToClipboard( 'Camera=' + v.cameraPt.toString() + '\r\nTarget=' + v.targetPt.toString() );

Similarly you can set the .cameraPt value to something to place the camera at a certain x,y,z location.

But normally these kinds of things are kind of "per file" settings rather than a global fixed location.

- Michael
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 From:  BurrMan
2396.9 In reply to 2396.8 
Thats great. Exactly what I wanted. If going to do a large house, I could spend a few minutes setting up my "Rooms+keys" then jump around the project. Also lets me know the future is bright in this area.
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 From:  BurrMan
2396.10 In reply to 2396.9 
Michael,
Sorry I needed just one more bit of pointer on this. I need instruction on where I place the data captured.

I used the script to capture the strings, but dont know how to script them back in. At your leisure could you post a script with an example of where the "Camera and Target " values go?

Thanks for the "personalized" time.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2396.11 In reply to 2396.10 
Hi Burr, I think you may actually need another new piece to make this work completely properly, which would be a method to set both Camera and Target together.

Otherwise if you set them one at a time I guess it won't work because when you set the camera it will move the target along with it, and when you set the target, it will move the camera along with it.

So I'll look at making a new method in the next v2 beta to set both in one call.


For now an example of setting just the camera point to a specific location :

script:var v = moi.ui.mainWindow.viewpanel.getViewport('3D'); v.cameraPt = moi.vectorMath.createPoint(50.2, 30.5, 10.1);

It takes a "point object", so creating that was maybe the part that was easy to miss?

- Michael
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 From:  rhodesy
2396.12 In reply to 2396.11 
Thanks michael, i wouldn't consider it to be mainly rendering/presentation focused, although it can be used for that for sure. I guess things will be made easier with your new layers system which sounds like your trying to make it as flexible as possible (which is great). Also the hide tool (inverted hide) is useful for working on individual objects so maybe I just need to wait till v2 and see how that goes. I do have a request for the projection tool though which could be useful in this case and that is to have an option to auto group or connect the projected lines over multiple objects so in one opperation you could create a connecte line section through the whole model. On the outside it looks like the hard part is done with the ability to create multiple objects slices with one click - it would just be a question of having them all in one group on completion. Do you think that is a good/feasible idea?
..................
Yes i think the zoom area tool is great, but this was more a request to easily rotate the camera on its axis whilst foucusing on the same point. Sometimes my camera will twist its way into a strange orbit and i'll end up looking at something on its side or upside down. Just looking for a slider perhaps which i can adjust to rotate the camera back to vertical for example. currently i just do lots of little circles with the rotate gizmo which eventualy brings this round again. Not a biggie though.
............................
Multiple camera views definately a biggie for me too! Saves you moving your camera each time you want to view your model from a different angle - one camera for close up modelling and another to see the wider impact of those changes.

One reason why im seriously considering switching full time to moi is that I love this interaction you can get with the guy who actually writes/is in charge of the thing - much like fryrender or vrayforc4d (to a slightly lesser extent as they are at the mercy of Chaos group). To me this is becoming a major selling point in software selection. With archicad things move so slowly and it's a get what your given approach with no discussion on what the user wants, which often shows in its feature implimentation! So thank you so much for you responses michael.

p.s. below is just an example of how the section tool could be useful but, like i said maybe i just need to see how i get on with v2!
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2396.13 In reply to 2396.12 
Hi rhodesy,

re: projection

> it would just be a question of having them all in one
> group on completion. Do you think that is a good/feasible idea?

Actually, that's why the results of the projection are all selected when the command is finished - that lets you apply whatever operation you want to that projected results... That should include being able to set them as a group once grouping is possible, of course!

I probably won't try to generate groups from disconnected objects in a totally automatic way, that can tend to make for extra steps for ungrouping the results for the cases when someone wants to just deal with the plain geometry directly.

Maybe I don't quite understand what you are asking for though...


> Sometimes my camera will twist its way into a strange orbit
> and i'll end up looking at something on its side or upside down.

What do you currently have set under Options > View > Rotate/Pan/Zoom options > Rotation style ? Is there any chance that you have changed this from the default "Rotate around world z axis" option to the "Free Rotation" option? If so you may want to switch that back to the "around world axis" method - that should keep your view untwisted.

Otherwise I may need to see some screenshots of the type of view twisting that you're talking about - it should not be normally necessary to do a bunch of little circles to change the view, unless you have switched to that "Free rotation" style which does not try to keep your head pointing "upwards".


> one camera for close up modelling and another to see
> the wider impact of those changes.

Currently you can do a similar thing by using the "Reset" button at the bottom of the viewport. If you select an object, one press of "Reset" will zoom in so that object fills the screen, and then a second press will go out to view the entire model.

So a combination of Zoom Area (if you want to go to a specific point rather than a particular object or sub-object) and Reset lets you do a similar kind of view manipulation now.


> So thank you so much for you responses michael.

You're very welcome! :)

It helps me a lot to have these discussions as well, I really get quite a lot of ideas for how to improve things this way too!

But some things will go a bit slowly with MoI as well, like I tend to go pretty slow whenever adding things that would require a lot of new UI, that is why it has taken so long to get to object organization type tools.

- Michael
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