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 From:  labuzz
547.1 

Hi,
Newbie here. I am a 3d real time artist mainly, my final output is polys. Very often I build a high poly mesh that is useful for things like normal map, backing...
Thats why I am interested by tools like MoI.
I would like to know if there's a fast way to draw a line segment ( 2d) with a relative constraint ( angular ) to the previous one ( not based on the world grid->straight snap ). To summarize, what is the fastest way to draw 2 perpendiculars( angular snap )?
Another question, is there a way to have a snap increment when you relocate(/reorient relative to the previous state) cline?
Is there any plan for an eps/ai importer ?
Possible to print in the future like in rhino4 ( very good scale control ) ?

I am french.
Tky.

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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.2 In reply to 547.1 
> To summarize, what is the fastest way to draw 2 perpendiculars( angular snap )?

This works a little differently if you are drawing a polyline instead of separate lines.

If you are drawing individual lines, straight snap should give you an automatic perpendicular snap to the previous line that it is snapped on to.

For a polyline this is not enabled immediately, but if you drag out a construction line from the previous point, that construction line will have a perpendicular straight snap enabled on it, so you can place the construction line and then snap the next point on to it.


> I would like to know if there's a fast way to draw a line segment ( 2d) with a
> relative constraint ( angular ) to the previous one ( not based on the world grid->straight snap ).

There isn't currently any way to draw a line at a relative angle to another line instead of the world grid (except for 90 degrees with perpendicular straight snap). Right now you have to draw the line straight and then use Transform/Rotate to apply your angle.


> Another question, is there a way to have a snap increment when you relocate(/reorient
> relative to the previous state) cline?

For relocate, you can use reorient first to set up the direction you want to move in, then draw a second construction line and relocate it using the reoriented one as a guide.

For re-orient, you can type in an angle constraint in the angle box down in the bottom bar (beneath and to the right of the x, y, z coordinate box), and that will enable an angle constraint for the reorientation but it will be based off of the world grid.

I have an idea on how to make relative angles work, I think I could add a 4th entry to that cline pop-up menu that would take in an angle value and allow you to rotate the cline by a specific amount. That would allow relative angles instead of only world-grid angles. I'll see if I can add that in.


> Is there any plan for an eps/ai importer ?

Yes, I am planning on this. If you have any sample files that you could send to me, it would help me when I start to work on this, please send any to me at moi@moi3d.com .


> Possible to print in the future like in rhino4 ( very good scale control ) ?

I do want to have this in a future version, but it won't be ready for the V1 release.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.3 In reply to 547.1 
Hi labuzz - for the next beta I have added a new rotate cline option that will make it possible to get a specific angle relative to an existing line:



So with this option you can enter in a specific angle there and the cline will rotate around its first point by that angle.

The next beta which will have this in it should be out pretty soon, probably tomorrow.

- Michael
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 From:  labuzz
547.4 In reply to 547.3 

Tks for the info Michael!
Can't wait to try the new beta. I have always been a big fan of Rhino but I can't justify the price in my current pipeline. With your clean poly output and a low price ( 200/300 USD ) your tool can be a real success in the entertainment ( video game, videos,... and the "polygon" world...) and archi fields. Be sure to make some noise about MoI on forum like www.cgtalk.com, http://www.cgchannel.com/...
There's really a need for goods "CAD" tools ( hard surface modeling) in the "polygon" world. Take a look at this tools for example :http://www.wtools3d.com/index.php?p=3&content=online_help
This is a plugin for lightwave that is alone the reason why many peoples are still using lightwave modeler ( instead of modo in many cases...).

Be sure to not loose the low level workflow. example:
Move an object, hit CTRL-C, hit undo, hit CTRL-V ( feature request : because MoI has a point primitive we should be able to grab some points from a geometry/curve, transform that points, hit CTRL-C,hit undo, hit CTRL-V...and voila a snapshot of those points...not the geometry ).

More questions :
* What is the fastest way to orient an object like another one? for example with 2 cubes in a complete random orientation in space. Freedom in space is crucial but you also need a smart workflow .

http://img300.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cubeses1.gif


for the future :

* Any plan on deformers like bend, shear, FFD ?

*Bezier curves?

*Revolve,extrude, a point to build a curve?

* draw a circle, now you want to draw the diameter. If I start from the center I can only draw a radius. Some sort of "mirror" drawing is needed for lines.

*hide unselected...maybe its already there.

tky

EDITED: 18 Apr 2007 by LABUZZ

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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.5 In reply to 547.4 
Hi labuzz -

> With your clean poly output and a low price ( 200/300 USD ) your tool can be
> a real success in the entertainment ( video game, videos,... and the "polygon"
> world...) and archi fields.

I hope that you're right! :) The price for version 1.0 will be right around US $200, so it should be pretty easy for someone to pick it up as an additional tool.

Yes - the clean polygon output is a particularly interesting feature that is unique to MoI (for NURBS modeling software)... As I'm sure you know, converted meshes are normally a big mess of triangles but with MoI's clean n-gon export you instead get meshes that often have a real "hand-optimized" feel to them. This really opens up a lot more potential for what you can do with your models.


> Be sure to not loose the low level workflow. example:

Yup, that's definitely a big focus!


> ( feature request : because MoI has a point primitive we should be able to grab some
> points from a geometry/curve, transform that points, hit CTRL-C,hit undo, hit CTRL-V..
> and voila a snapshot of those points...not the geometry )

This makes sense. I'm a little worried about those points getting replicating unintentionally, so what I will do is only copy those points to the clipboard as independent point objects if there are only control points selected and not any regular objects.


> * What is the fastest way to orient an object like another one?

For V1 this will require several operations - first drag one cube to the other and snap their endpoints together. Then you have to do a series of 3 rotations using Transform / Rotate / Rotate axis, using different edges of the target box as your rotation axis - for each of these you snap one of the angular reference points on to the box you are rotating to move that point into some plane of the target box. Let me know if you would like a step-by-step overview of this, it is kind of difficult.

I expect to add some additional rotation and orientation tools for V2 that will make stuff like this a lot easier.


> * Any plan on deformers like bend, shear, FFD ?

Possibly eventually, but these will be quite a long ways out - longer than V2. There are some big technical difficulties with doing these transforms (except shear), here are some posts with a bit of info on that:

http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=523.13
http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=412.103


> *Bezier curves?

I'm not really planning on these because Bezier curves tend to have breaks in their smoothness. Typical Bezier curve drawing strings together a bunch of little bezier curves and only guarantees tangent smoothness between each different piece. There is another type of smoothness between curves called "curvature", which is basically what type of circle the curve resembles at a particular point. Bezier curves don't have matching curvature between each of their little pieces (unless you have used only all "symmetrical" style nodes). This is not so noticable for 2D illustration (although you can still see it there if you know what you are looking for), but once you start building 3D stuff these smoothness breaks tend to become more magnified.


> *Revolve,extrude, a point to build a curve?

I haven't really thought about this one - this would be easy to do in a future version though.


> * draw a circle, now you want to draw the diameter. If I start from the center I can
> only draw a radius. Some sort of "mirror" drawing is needed for lines.

If I understand you correctly, this is one of the cool things you can do with construction lines in the current version.

When you drag out a construction line, the "reflected endpoints" are available.

Here's an example - let's say that we want to draw a square that is exactly straddling an existing line segment:



Start the Draw curve / Rect / 3 pts command. Before you place the first point, drag a construction line from the end of the line to the end of where you want your square to start:



There is now an "end" snap available on the second point that you clicked to define the construction line. Place the first point of the square there. Now the cool part - go to the other side of the line, and there is another "end" snap available over there for the same distance as between point 1 and 2:




I believe this is the mirrored point that you are talking about. You can basically drop a construction between any 2 points and get the mirrored point on the other side.

You can use the "square" snap built into the rectangle commands to finish up the square:



Let me know if you meant something different...


> *hide unselected...maybe its already there.

This one is possible if you use a script macro, check out Petr's script page I think it has something there you can use: http://kyticka.webzdarma.cz/3d/moi/ , let me know if you need help setting this up.


The new beta should be ready in a few hours, I think...

- Michael

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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.6 In reply to 547.5 
Almost ready.... Just putting in one more new construction line thing.

- Michael
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 From:  labuzz
547.7 In reply to 547.6 
Hi Michael, cool update!

I have a few comments regarding different things :

* It looks like you have choose a right handed system which is a good thing. You should make the XYZ directions more obvious, maybe a subtle hue change (RGB) in the grid...Another thing is the fact that you have choose Z as the "vertical" which is not the most used convention in the entertainment field. If I open an obj export in modo or maya ( right handed but Y up by default ) I must rotate 90 counterclockwise around the x axis to work in the same space. I think you should provide a little bit of matrix manipulations options for the exporter like in Zbrush for example ( there's a lots of different pipelines around !).
BTW you should change the icon for the rotate axis command ( Left handed ! ), this can be very confusing for some artists!
There's also some scale issues. If I open the file ( I have set meters as the unit ) in modo no problems but in maya which is in centimeters by default ( not sure how maya deals with obj ...) I get 1 meter = 1 centimeter...So you must provide a multiply just to be safe for all the cases.

*The grid could be more useful. I like the grid snap (discrete values space) feature and it would be cool to have a multiply field for the snap size value based on the zoom/distance camera to grid. This way the grid would become more "adaptative". Of course a toggle is needed for this feature to lock the grid when needed. Also it would be cool to display the current snap size value ( after the multiply ) near the world space coordinates tracking system ( based on this adaptative grid feature ).

*about transformations in the 3d view : at the moment if I translate for example some points while being mostly facing the grid ( XY plane ) no problem I get what I expect ( moving in the XY plane ). Now, in a more "fresnel" type of situation I have a problem if I try to translate my points. You really need to allow the user to move in the other planes in the 3d view ( amapi comes to mind ) as well as the screen space too if you want to please the artists! This is really important. Having a visual feedback for that is really good too.

*Be sure to give us the "complete" orientation (not just one direction/1 vector ) the day you deal with orientation tools this is really important! BTW I love the fact that we can extract points now, all the information we need is here ( ...define a vector, a plane, a direction, a new coordinate system...)!

*about history: I have try to build a surface based on 4 curves. I can tweak the curve after the fact but as soon as I edit the control points for the surface I loose the history. It would be really cool to have 2 levels.

*shear and taper are the more useful for hard surface modeling...Now if you could provide different type of interpolation ( not just linear ) for those deformations that would be really nice.


I will send you an eps file from modo....I must check that.

Very popular plugs for lightwave ( just to give you some ideas ) : http://www.pictrix.jp/lw/index_1.html

Hope this help.
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 From:  tyglik
547.8 In reply to 547.7 
Beta Dec-1-2006
Optional scale factor for OBJ export. You can cause MoI to scale .obj output by setting this in the moi.ini file (just add it if it is not present already):
          [OBJ Export]
          Scale=1

Beta Feb-9-2007
OBJ export: Added a new option in moi.ini to keep OBJ export with z-up coordinate system: 
          [OBJ Export]
          SwapAxes=n
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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.9 In reply to 547.7 
Hi labuzz, thanks for your feedback!


> maybe a subtle hue change (RGB) in the grid...

I've thought about that a bit, but I've sort of been trying to avoid showing colors for different axes because it tends to lead to confusion later on when the construction planes can be re-oriented to arbitrary planes instead of along a world plane. For V1 they are always aligned to world planes, but I'd like to allow them to have different orientations in the future.


> If I open an obj export in modo or maya ( right handed but Y up by default ) I must rotate 90
> counterclockwise around the x axis to work in the same space. I think you should provide a
> little bit of matrix manipulations options for the exporter like in Zbrush for example ( there's
> a lots of different pipelines around !).

Hmmm, there actually already is a rotation happening by default for OBJ export that is supposed to solve this problem. I just tried a quick test export into modo, and it seemed to import into the expected orientation there. What steps are you using to get a different result?

The .ini file option Petr mentions above:
[OBJ Export]
SwapAxes=n

will disable the rotation and allow you to export as z-up, but by default this is supposed to be turned on to enable Y-up export as you are requesting.


> BTW you should change the icon for the rotate axis command ( Left handed ! ), this
> can be very confusing for some artists!

Wow, good catch! Indeed this was showing the wrong direction of rotation, I have fixed this icon for the next beta.


> There's also some scale issues. If I open the file ( I have set meters as the unit )
> in modo no problems but in maya which is in centimeters by default ( not sure how
> maya deals with obj ...) I get 1 meter = 1 centimeter...So you must provide a multiply
> just to be safe for all the cases.

If you're always exporting to one system, you can currently set the OBJ scale factor using the other .ini flag that Petr mentioned above. I'm going to try and reorganize the settings UI pretty soon and I will try to put a setting in the UI for this.


> This way the grid would become more "adaptative".

This is an interesting idea... But adaptive grids can be troublesome in some ways too, I find those programs that alter the visible grid scale all the time to be very disorienting, it tends to cause me to lose my sense of scale. Is there another program that handles the grid in the adaptive way that you're describing that I can look at for a reference?


> *about transformations in the 3d view

Yeah, this stuff tends to be useful for editing objects by surface control point manipulation. This type of manipulation hasn't really been a focus for version 1.0. Version 1.0 is more focused on creating surfaces by construction methods based on drawing curves, not really so much on moving surface control points around. I think it will be possible to add stuff in this area in a future version though.


> *about history: I have try to build a surface based on 4 curves. I can tweak the curve
> after the fact but as soon as I edit the control points for the surface I loose the history.
> It would be really cool to have 2 levels.

That's going to be tough to do in general. The points that you manipulated on the surface may not even exist after certain types of edits to the original curves, for instance if you delete some control points from the original curves.


> *shear and taper are the more useful for hard surface modeling...Now if you could
> provide different type of interpolation ( not just linear ) for those deformations that
> would be really nice.

Unfortunately taper is in the same category as those other difficult transforms like bend. Shear is different because it is actually an "affine transformation" - one where lines that are parallel before the transformation are also parallel after the transformation.


> I will send you an eps file from modo....I must check that.

Great! I could use any eps or ai files for testing.

Thanks,

- Michael
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 From:  tyglik
547.10 In reply to 547.5 
Hi Michael,

>>When you drag out a construction line, the "reflected endpoints" are available.

Thanks for idea! I didn't notice that. It means I can draw a line OnBothSide like in Rhino using this...

Petr
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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.11 In reply to 547.10 
> Thanks for idea! I didn't notice that. It means I can draw
> a line OnBothSide like in Rhino using this...

Yup! In MoI I tried to get away from having all kinds of special options just for the "Line" command and instead put those types of functions on the construction line.

This makes that functionality generally available to all drawing commands instead of being something special just for the one "Line" command.

- Michael
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 From:  labuzz
547.12 In reply to 547.11 

Hi guys,

>I've thought about that a bit, but I've sort of been trying to avoid showing colors for different axes because it tends to lead to confusion later on when the construction planes can be re-oriented to arbitrary planes instead of along a world plane. For V1 they are always aligned to world planes, but I'd like to allow them to have different orientations in the future.

IMO being able to know the current orientation of the construction plane is important.This is especially true when you model in the 3d View ( BTW it would be cool to be able to maximize the "current" viewport with a keyboard shortcut....maybe its already possible I have not investigate that ) and when you zoom on some parts.

>Hmmm, there actually already is a rotation happening by default for OBJ export that is supposed to solve this problem. I just tried a quick test export into modo, and it seemed to import into the expected orientation there. What steps are you using to get a different result?

Yes there's already a rotation ( z up to y up ) . Actually I cancel this rotation to go back to MoI space(->counterclockwise around the x axis to be in the same space ) The fact is that your choice ( I prefer consistency instead.... if you cant provide a complete solution ) is not the expected result for most artists I think. For example I have a cone which is pointing in the positive Y direction and located on the positive x side. Most artists will expect to get this cone to be located on the positive X side and oriented in the POSITIVE Z direction. Again your choice is not a problem for me but can be confusing for some artists. If you stay on this choice be sure to have a very clear documentation.
Some people wont "change" their pipeline ( -> wont allow artists to use MoI ) just because of that ( this is especially true in the video game industry )...

>I find those programs that alter the visible grid scale all the time to be very disorienting, it tends to cause me to lose my sense of scale.

Yes me too. I am using lightwave and modo for modeling. In those softs the grid scale is changing all the time and I don't like that. I think you don't need to change the grid scale based on this feature. The most important is to able to toggle this feature on the fly and see the current step.

>Version 1.0 is more focused on creating surfaces by construction methods based on drawing curves

Drawing curves in the 3d view is very important IMO ( try amapi if you havn't -> Look at the constraint system and the "adaptive" features ).
amapi 6 is free :
http://forums.polyloop.net/software-misc-logiciels-divers/

amapi7 :
http://downloads.e-frontier.com/us/user/home.php?cat=1349

 

Borhan.

EDITED: 23 Apr 2007 by LABUZZ

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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.13 In reply to 547.12 
Hi Borhan, thanks for the feedback!

> IMO being able to know the current orientation of the construction plane is important.

Under normal circumstances just looking at the grid will tell you that already - the accented x and y axes of the grid form an "L" shape which from a simple viewing angle from above is distinct enough to determine x from y. Also when you're drawing something with straight snap engaged, any time straight snap locks on to one of the world axes, it will show "x", "y", or "z" at the base point, so watching for that will give you another indicator if you are uncertain which direction is which.

Too many bright colors all over the viewport are rather distracting and "in your face" - that's another reason why I didn't want to do that by default.

If you do want different colors for the x and y axis of the construction plane, there is an option available for that, go to "Grid snap" on the bottom bar and pop out the menu above it and choose "grid options", there are options there to set the colors for the X axis and Y axis of the construction plane there. Note - that these colors will be for the local x/y axes of the construction plane, not colored by world axis.


> ( BTW it would be cool to be able to maximize the "current" viewport with a keyboard
> shortcut....maybe its already possible I have not investigate that )

This is possible with a script macro in a keyboard shortcut:

[Shortcut Keys]
Space=script:if ( moi.ui.mainWindow.viewpanel.mode != 'split' ) { moi.ui.mainWindow.viewpanel.mode = 'split' } else { var viewport = moi.ui.getViewportUnderMouse(); if ( viewport ) { viewport.viewPanel.mode = viewport.name } }

That will set up the space bar to maximize the view currently under the mouse, or switch back to a split view if one is currently maximized.

There are some other useful scripts that Petr has collected here: http://kyticka.webzdarma.cz/3d/moi/


> Actually I cancel this rotation to go back to MoI space(->counterclockwise around the
> x axis to be in the same space )

In that case you may want to set the "SwapAxes=n" option in moi.ini, that will stop MoI from doing any manipulation to the coordinates.


> The fact is that your choice ( I prefer consistency instead.... if you cant provide
> a complete solution ) is not the expected result for most artists I think.

I'd be very surprised if the current system is not what artists expect - your message here is actually the very first complaint that I've heard about it!

Typically most people are more concerned about "up, down, left, and right" instead of "x,y,z".

The current system rotates objects to preserve what is considered the "up" direction.

For example if you draw a cone in MoI and have it centered on the world origin and pointing "up" along the z axis in MoI, when you import that cone into Modo most people would expect to see the cone pointing "up" in Modo as well, which means orienting it along the y axis in Modo.

I guess I don't really understand what you would prefer instead - you would rather map the "up" direction in MoI to some other direction than "up" in Modo?


> Drawing curves in the 3d view is very important IMO

If the curve you are drawing is rather detailed or has many points, it is better to draw it in one of the ortho views because it tends to be difficult to control proportion of fine details in the 3d view.

But certainly for simple curves it is useful to draw them in the 3d view - and MoI supports a couple of features to make it possible to do that.

The most basic is straight snap - this can be used to snap the second point of a line to the z axis in the 3D view, to draw a line that comes up in 3D off of the plane.

To get more detailed control of 3D point placement you can use a construction line combined with straight snap to set up guide lines that allow you to track off of the plane.

Here is an example - let's say you want to draw a hoop coming up in 3D above this line segment:



Start the Draw curve / Freeform / Control points command.

Snap the first point of the curve to the end of the line, and use straight snap to snap the second point above it in Z:




Now for the interesting part - we'll create a construction line as a snapping aid for the 3rd point. Before placing the 3rd point, go to the other end of the line, and drag out a construction line. This is done by doing a click, hold down and drag instead of a click and release. The construction line can be dragged out in z, giving a type of temporary "post" or "pillar" there for snapping:



Now that the construction line is placed, we can do a perpendicular snap on to it for the 3rd point:



And finally snap the 4th point to the other end, the result is a symmetrical hoop that comes vertically up off the plane:




So you can use construction lines in this manner as a way to get points up "off the plane" inside the 3d view.


> ( try amapi if you havn't -> Look at the constraint system and the "adaptive" features ).

I've tried it before, and it is interesting but there are also some things that I don't like. When I want to draw on a certain plane, I have to change my view to a certain angle to snap on to it. This causes my view to be restricted - I can't just operate with my view anywhere I want, I have to move around to certain angles for certain operations. In some ways I don't like the restricted feeling of this, I like to have more free control over that 3d view.

The view angles around 45 degrees are so become kind of weird, since there is a huge change in functionality if you take just one step from say 44 degree view elevation to 46 degree. This is kind of odd in general, to have a huge shift in functionality by a very small change in something else...

But I can see how it is useful for some situations. However, I think I prefer to be in more explicit control of switching the plane.

Does the Amapi constraint/adaptive system allow for drawing the hoop like I showed above?

- Michael

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
547.14 In reply to 547.13 
Not more easy to draw just a "perpendicular vertical helper" by the center of the line and draw the 3 pts arc by Start On End ? ;)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery

EDITED: 23 Apr 2007 by PILOU

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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.15 In reply to 547.14 
> Not more easy to draw just a "perpendicular vertical helper" by the center of the
> line and draw the 3 pts arc by Start On End ? ;)

Hi Pilou, that's easy, but it will create a different type of shape. The one that I drew has end tangents that point straight vertically downward.

If you draw an arc like you mention, it won't generally have end tangents that point down, except for one arc at the exact right height.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
547.16 In reply to 547.15 
So I must think of the good height :)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery
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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.17 In reply to 547.16 
Well, the proper height woudl be 1/2 the length of the line.

This is possible to do by drawing a construction line from the midpoint of the line to the end, and then using "Reorient" to point it upwards...

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
547.18 In reply to 547.17 
Yes the reorient of the cline on the Z vertical seems the more tricky & speedy!

it's not planed to have "circurlar lines helpers" ?
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
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 From:  Michael Gibson
547.19 In reply to 547.18 
> it's not planed to have "circurlar lines helpers" ?

I don't have any plan for this right now... It's a bit more difficult to think of a way to do this easily since a circle is a planar shape, it isn't automatically fully defined by only 2 points unless you fix it to a particular plane.

The nice thing about construction lines are that they are fully defined by the 2 points that you use to create them (point you start dragging on, and point you release on).

I'm not sure that "construction circles" are needed in enough situations to be useful enough to have a special mechanism for them instead of just drawing a circle and erasing it later...

Also a construction line is different from a regular line because it has infinite extension... But I'm not sure what a "construction circle" would give different from just drawing a regular circle as a helper.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
547.20 In reply to 547.19 
Sorry I wanted to say "circles helpers"
---
Pilou
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