Illustrator feature request

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 From:  Dave Morrill (DMORRILL)
2732.1 
Michael,

I was doodling around tonight in MoI and suddenly thought how an illustrator could probably really make good use of MoI. So I checked the export options and sure enough, Illustrator .ai was already in the list. So I exported my model as .ai and loaded it into Illustrator CS4. It worked great except for three things:

- every line was a separate Illustrator path.
- all "hidden" lines were present.
- Around curved edges, it sometimes does not generate the "silhouette" line

It turns out that with the "Live Paint" feature of recent Illustrator versions, the first item is not really a problem. However, the second one was fairly painful. I've attached a few screen shots, one from MoI, one from Illustrator after using Live Paint, and one from Photoshop after I painstakingly "painted out" all of the hidden lines after saving out the finished Illustrator image.

The third issue is somewhat minor, but would be better if it could be fixed.

So I was wondering if it would be possible to add an "Eliminate hidden lines" option in the Illustrator export dialog? Or maybe even better would be to allow selecting a line style for hidden lines (e.g. dashed, none, ...). Just a thought...
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 From:  BurrMan
2732.2 In reply to 2732.1 
Hi Dave,
In MoI, the "Save or Save As" will do the Whole document. "Export" will do only "Selected Items". FYI
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 From:  Dave Morrill (DMORRILL)
2732.3 In reply to 2732.2 
Thanks for the tip! In many programs, "Save" or "Save As" save in the program's native format, while "Export" allows you to save in other formats. I've been using "Export" when I could have been using "Save As".
- Dave Morrill
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 From:  BurrMan
2732.4 In reply to 2732.3 
I just did a test with export to ai and hid a few curves and exported only the visible ones and it worked. Does this not work for you?
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2732.5 In reply to 2732.1 
Hi Dave, yup I definitely want to significantly enhance the illustrator output in the future. I'm hoping to make progress in this area in version 3.

Ideally it would fit in as part of an overall 2D annotation and detailing type mechanism. That would be the kind of thing where you would be able to switch to a kind of paper-oriented 2D view which could be populated by a hidden line generated view from the 3D objects, with silhouettes also being calculated during that process.

- Michael
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 From:  Dave Morrill (DMORRILL)
2732.6 In reply to 2732.5 
Sounds good. Just wanted to make sure it was something on your radar, since from a business point of view this seems like another good niche that MoI would fit well into. Given how drop-dead simple it is to use compared to 98.4% of all of the other 3D apps out there, I think it would be something that a lot of 2D illustrators and graphics design folks would want to have in their bag of tricks. Provide a couple of 2D design oriented demo/training videos, and start advertising on graphic design blogs :-)

BTW, I'm still going gang-busters on the scripting documentation. I've worked out a scheme for annotating the Javascript API that keeps the documentation in a separate file from the .idl file. My script then merges the two together when creating the final documentation. It also handles changes to the .idl file (future-proofing it) so that stubs for any new API's get added to the annotation's file so that they can be documented later. The script also outputs statistics about how many documented/undocumented API's it processed so that it's easy to tell when new API's get added.

I've also set up a simple scheme in the annotation's file so that any annotation I make (which could obviously be wrong) gets displayed differently in the final output. This should make it easier for you to review the docs, since you can visually see any items that you haven't "approved" yet. Whenever you get a chance to update the annotation's file, you can simply remove the '?' character at the beginning of the annotation if it was correct. This will mark it as "approved" (of course you can also change the text that follows as well if it needs tweaking). There are also options to mark an annotation as "totally bogus" (in which case the description will be suppressed in the final output until someone has time to put a correct annotation in), or "private" (in which case, the entire API entry for that method, class, etc will be suppressed in the final output, in cases where a specific API is not intended to be used from Javascript, if indeed there are any).

I've already annotated a few classes to make sure everything is working. Now I'm going to start working on some UI extensions to make it easier for me to explore the inner workings of MoI a little better, to help further ensure that the annotations I'm making are as accurate as possible...

- Dave Morrill
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 From:  Dave Morrill (DMORRILL)
2732.7 In reply to 2732.4 
> I just did a test with export to ai and hid a few curves and exported only the visible ones and it worked. Does this not work for you?

I'm sure it would, but the problem I am talking about are the hidden lines that appear on a solid. That is, the lines of the solid that are not visible to the viewer from their point of view. Inside MoI itself, these lines normally appear as faint dashed lines (unless you've turned them off completely), but in the Illustrator output they appear just like any of the normal, visible lines do. Sounds like Michael is going to address this in version 3.0 though...

- Dave Morrill
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 From:  BurrMan
2732.8 In reply to 2732.7 
OIC. Thanks.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2732.9 In reply to 2732.6 
Hi Dave, the scripting docs sound cool! That sounds like a good system for me to be able to look over it and add in comments and stuff like that.

re: 2D illustration - yup with some additional flushing out in this area I think that MoI will be a pretty nice fit as a 3D tool for 2D illustrators. The general mechanism of how NURBS modeling works is pretty friendly for 2D illustrators since a lot of it is based off of drawing 2D profile curves as part of the construction.

Poly/sub-d type 3D modeling tends to be less similar in general behavior from 2D illustration.

- Michael
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 From:  Dave Morrill (DMORRILL)
2732.10 In reply to 2732.9 
>Hi Dave, the scripting docs sound cool! That sounds like a good system for me to be able to look over it and add in comments and stuff like that.

That's one of the main reasons I did it this way...to make the best use of your time when you have a few minutes to devote it it ;-)

I also had a major breakthrough today:



Things should go faster now because I can "peek inside" and interactively try things out in Javascript within MoI to see exactly how something works.

- Dave Morrill
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
2732.11 In reply to 2732.10 
Seems "test" icon too big ;)
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Pilou
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 From:  Dave Morrill (DMORRILL)
2732.12 In reply to 2732.11 
MoI automatically scales it to the correct size. I think it seems big just because it goes to the edges of the image, while the other MoI icons don't. In any case, it's just for my own use while I come to grips with the MoI internals. Clicking the icon launches my "Test" window, which I use to explore how MoI works...

- Dave Morrill
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 From:  Marc (TELLIER)
2732.13 
Oh yeah!! Can't wait to see 2d projection tools in Moi3d!!

One of the strong point of using Nurbs for this purpose is getting very clean vector lines from 3d viewpoint of a model, polygons just cannot compare for this purpose.
This is indeed a very good asset in an illustrator's toolbox.

Marc
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 From:  OSTexo
2732.14 In reply to 2732.13 
Hello,

I will be sticking around for MoI 3 exactly for this illustration functionality. I currently go through a few gyrations to get the 2D where it needs to be. but if the functional pedigree of MoI 2 is any indication it will shave hours off my prep time.
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 From:  neo
2732.15 In reply to 2732.5 
that's great news,

could you also consider supporting PDF Publishing 2D/3D Output ?
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2732.16 In reply to 2732.15 
Hi neo,

> could you also consider supporting PDF Publishing 2D/3D Output ?

Yes, that's also on my list to add at some point in the future.

- Michael
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