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Support => Wish List => Topic started by: hieveryone on April 17, 2011, 05:23:42 PM

Title: sculpting tools
Post by: hieveryone on April 17, 2011, 05:23:42 PM
Here's some suggestion:
- Camera snap to have ortho views;
- Layers to have the chance to work on multiple elements and lock or hide them during sculpting sessions;
- A menu for shortcuts remapping;
- Something to understand where is the center of the symmetry on a model;

Here's some rant:
I didn't find the size control for the volume brush linked to the mouse wheel very comfortable, but maybe It's just me; a falloff control for the brushes would be useful, and having the chance to link the camera zoom to the mouse wheel for faster movements would be great (even maintaining the ctrl command for a more precise zoom).

Oddly enough changing the values of the 'depth' bar in the right panel of the volume brushes d1/d2 makes no difference, but ctrl inverts them; I don't know if it's a bug.

I have to test this matter more to be sure, but I had the impression that the values of 'intensity' and 'reduce' of the brushes seem to be related to the 'size'; that means that if the size of a brush is too small, the intensity in scale will be weaker even at 99 and the reduce factor will not go beyond a certain limit, so it's not possible to operate with a certain degree of precision.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on April 17, 2011, 05:38:38 PM
Thanks for the feedback.

The 'depth' setting is not the depth of the draw brush. It is the depth of the center of the tool sphere inside or out of the surface. The draw brushes just push towards/away from the normal, so changing depth for them doesn't have much effect. But if you change depth for the Drag or Pinch tools, you will see the difference.

For Draw1/Draw2, the Strength controls the height of the bump, and yes, Ctrl inverts it. Sorry, I guess 'Depth' is overloaded here and is causing some confusion.

By Intensity, do you mean Strength? Yes, that is related to the brush size. Other sculpting tools work this way too, though...

Refine and Reduce are also related to the brush size. This I don't like so much. Other tools that do local refinement also base it on the brush size, plus a modifier parameter. The Reduce setting being based on brush size is more of a problem, because when you use a big brush, you might wipe out detail elsewhere. This is something I am working on...definitely I agree that it is not good enough!

Part of the problem with using a very small brush is that it is not yet smart enough about doing something small inside a large face. So you need to get the local triangle count high enough that you have several vertices inside the brush sphere. If you do that, it should feel the same at all scales. I don't quite understand what you are saying though, so maybe you could post a screenshot?




Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: MagWeb on April 17, 2011, 06:31:30 PM
Hi,

I´d would like to see layers or some multiple objects solution (selection of connected vertices) too...

but if I had 3 wishes:

Some mask feature for sculpting  would be on top of my wishlist (or did I miss it?).

Second would be to add a magnify(scale) and rotate option of selected areas (to do bigger mesh modifications)

Next would be improvement of the stroke as airbrush mode for some of the tools (means the tool should work even without moving the cursor) and some lazy behaviour to get straighter strokes

Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on April 17, 2011, 07:20:01 PM
those are all things I want to add too =).

You might be able to get magnify-like effects using the Deform tool (see meshmixer03 video on youtube). Not the rotate, though.

Airbrush/lazybrush, yes, those are pretty easy, will try to do soon...
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: hieveryone on April 18, 2011, 08:14:02 AM
Thanks for the fast answer.
About the explanation of the depth bar, well I'm not that sure I got it right, but I can definitely see the difference using pinch brush, so I'm leaving it at that. I found odd anyway that to have a correct inverted pinch you have to use depth and not ctrl. :o
Yes, for intensity I was meaning the strenght, sorry about the confusion.
I think that my problem was the exact opposite: because the level of detail was too high, smooth and sculpt brushes didn't have the same intensity as when you have less faces. That happened mainly because I used the sculpt tools with 'mesh refinement' function always enabled, so they were continuously adding detail even when refine was at 0 due to their size. Anyway I think I now grasped the right way to use the brushes managing reduce and refine.
MagWeb preceded me about those points, anyway here's something else to add to the wishlist:
autosymmetry - ok, this needs an explanation. Sometimes can happen that you forget to activate symmetry (well, at least I did after the program crashed and I re-opened the same project to continue sculpting), and in that case it would be useful to have the possibility of mirroring the details of one side of the model on the other half;
log - could start automatically with the program or you could put a checkbox or a menu voice to enable it once meshmixer is started;
autosave - it happened to me that the temporary file saved after the crash of the program turned out to be corrupt, so an autosave with incremental number and a customizable time would be great;
pose tool - actually as you pointed out you can already do something like that with deform, but having the chance to use a pivot point to scale or rotate a model with axis control would be better, especially to pose your model and that bring us also to:
mask for volume brush - if possible with symmetry (paint mode doesn't have it) and a smooth function so that you can use it to sculpt or to pose an area of your model;
hide areas - so that you can sculpt more easily two or more near volumes;
texture for brushes -  to sculpt using patterns. Not necessary for now, and anyway as I read on another post you have already the intention to add this function, but I'm pointing it out anyway;
change materials/backgrounds or light direction - to have a better understanding of what's really going on with the volumes you're sculpting; unfortunately visual schemes are not very helpful;
I know those are a lot of things, still I tried to list only those I really missed while working on some doodle. Anyway I think that for me too mask and pose would be at the top of my wish list for now.
Before I forget, I noticed that when I used the mask selection on the model I posted in the gallery, the camera orbit became very slow, is it normal?
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on April 18, 2011, 02:27:01 PM
yes, managing reduce and refine is non-trivial. I am working on a better way to do it that will make it less necessary to manage (and ideally reduce it to one parameter instead of two)

The other things I more or less agree with.

Autosymmetry is tricky...the mesh is not actually symmetric, I just apply the same brush on each side of the symmetry plane. So the shape looks the same most of the time, but because of the dynamic meshing you can get asymmetry. One neat thing is you can actually use symmetry on a non-symmetric mesh, unlike with topology-symmetry. So it can do partial symmetry...although I need to give some control over the symmetry plane...

So, the problem for autosymmetry is that I can't just mirror vertex positions because the topology might be different. I have some ideas about how to handle it by copying the mesh from one side to the other, but first i need to be able to merge arbitrary meshes (my part-dropping would work for small areas but not for example to mirror an entire torso). But once I do this you will actually be able to do all sorts of crazy symmetry-copy operations.

Autosave I will try to put in for mm05. I also would like to have it =)

Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: hieveryone on April 18, 2011, 02:47:16 PM
Making refine/reduce a single parameter would be indeed a good thing, I think the way it is now can be a little confusing at first.
How could I forget to point that out before... the polycount! :o - That's absolutely a must if you want to have the slightest idea of how much time you have before your project will blow up to your face.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: MagWeb on April 18, 2011, 03:15:38 PM
V and t-values are in the lower left corner as a fly-out (same as the tooltips on the upper right) in my current version.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: hieveryone on April 18, 2011, 04:12:44 PM
Yep, my bad, now I have it too. You can ignore my last comment. :-X
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on April 18, 2011, 04:49:14 PM
You shouldn't hit any kind of polycount limits, at least not if you are using the 64-bit version. I have had people report sculpting on meshes with 4 million triangles. It can get slow, but it shouldn't crash from memory.  (32-bit versions are a different story, of course...)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: hieveryone on April 19, 2011, 11:48:37 AM
Well, I'm working on a 32 bit system so the instability I experienced could have been due to that reason.
Anyway the latest release seems to be way more stable, up until now it didn't crashed not even once. 8)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: hieveryone on April 20, 2011, 08:42:33 AM
Another thing I noticed is that if you have a model opened and you 'accidentally' click the 'import sphere' button, it loads it without asking for closing the current project. I did it once by mistake and I felt like a moron, so I think it would be good to have a confirmation message, something like "you're trying to import another object so this project will be closed. Would you really like to continue?" or something like that. ;)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: hieveryone on April 20, 2011, 08:04:44 PM
The brush size is always too big for detail sculpting. It would be good to scale it a little more when you zoom in.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on April 21, 2011, 02:47:09 AM
ok, please try the new build linked in this post:  http://meshmixer.com/forum/index.php?topic=361.0

new: autosave, fast binary save format, symmetry-plane line, smaller minimum brush size, ask-when-replacing-object, camera controls for pen, free rotate
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: hieveryone on April 21, 2011, 04:59:38 AM
 :o I wasn't expecting a new alpha to come out so fast. I'm gonna try it as soon as I can and I'll let you know how it works for me. ;D
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: hieveryone on May 01, 2011, 06:31:09 AM
While I was working on the last model using the mesh mixing tools I noticed that my list of the custom parts was becoming very long, so I thought that it could be useful to make groups on the left panel.
Something like an expanding list or a folder that you can rename, so that you can group parts of the same kind (like 'heads', 'hands', 'animals' and so on) and navigate them faster.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 01, 2011, 12:18:52 PM
yes, I would like something like that too =). Unfortunately there isn't a drop-in way to do it in Qt (the UI library I am using) so I have to write something custom...time time time...
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: andreicirdu on May 18, 2011, 12:10:00 PM
The maximum brush strength could be higher. Or maybe it would be interesting to have the option to insert values greater than 100.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 18, 2011, 12:29:55 PM
Which brush do you feel isn't strong enough?
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: andreicirdu on May 18, 2011, 07:19:04 PM
The drawing brushes and the inflate brush could benefit from a wider range of strength values.

Can you make the symetry line to be optionally invisible?
 
And another thing-the brush circle is still a bit distracting.



Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: andreicirdu on May 19, 2011, 11:49:44 AM
here are 2 more feature requests:
1) Clay brush
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_MRd4TuQSEag/TdU4lKk5sMI/AAAAAAAAB1s/17DT8zGDty8/clay.JPG)

2) An option for brush stroke averaging (like lazy mouse in Zbrush and steady stroke in Mudbox))
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_MRd4TuQSEag/TdU7TDFfbjI/AAAAAAAAB18/DC1xh0syC-c/stroke.JPG)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 19, 2011, 12:51:05 PM
Are you using Windows? I am going to post an updated build w/ higher brush strengths to see what you think.

I think my D1 brush actually behaves like what you want for Clay Brush, at least some of the time. But you are right the strength was too low. The problem with my D1 brush is that internally it has some very nonlinear parameter effects, so I have to basically manually tune two parameters at a bunch of different settings and then fit a curve, and use that as a mapping from the strength parameter.

But the result is that sliding strength doesn't have a linear effect, and I tuned it mostly around the 50 value, and didn't notice that when you put it up to 100 it doesn't actually get much stronger. So I changed it, now at 100 it will pop off the surface pretty quick. But if you are using a pen you probably won't see this unless you push really hard.

Are you using a pen? I do most of my testing during development with a mouse, just because it is handy, but that means I am essentially always getting full-pressure...so things probably "feel" stronger to me...

Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: andreicirdu on May 19, 2011, 01:06:13 PM
Yes, I'm using mixer for windows. And I also use a pen. With the mouse- the strength is pretty good on all the brushes, except for the D1 which is very very weak.
With the pen-all the brushes are weak, only the spike and the drag have pretty good strength range.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: jim on May 19, 2011, 06:30:30 PM
+1, a clay brush really would be great!


Some good pen support with deeper options would be awesome, too!
Would it be possible to change the range of pressure readout on the fly, per brush?
So one can say min pressure = 50% strength and max pressure = 80% strength?


Also, i am missing a tool to do some basic squeeze n squash adjustments to the mesh.
In a way similar to the grab tool but with a tighter grip to the mesh and without the intention to do actual extrusions.
Right now, disabling refire for the grab brush already sort of lets you do what i mean but the brush 'loses' points along the way so that if you klick and drag away from the model the part you drag away will shrink like water flowing away through your fingets.
Picture here the situation that you just want to slightly change the position of an ear without affecting the form of the ear in anyway but the surrounding should try to adapt to the change of position.
Here a slider would be great to define the border falloff.
(The max range of the grab tool is too small right now, too (only enfolded 1/3 of the bunny).)


And, would it be possible to have a B-spline type of thingy to quickly create custom brush falloffs?

(http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/2962/99820951.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/146/99820951.jpg/)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: HolyEnigma74 on May 19, 2011, 09:01:57 PM
If this guy can code this fast it would be sweet, we are firing all kinds of suggestions at him..  ;D

Git 'er DONE!  ;)
:P

Oh a "model symmetry" button (Like Sculptris) probably wouldn't be  a bad idea.
(but, it would be nice to let the user choose which side they want to mirror left or right)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 19, 2011, 09:25:20 PM
jim, you will get a more grab-and-move like behavior if you use the Drag brush, disable Refine, and also make sure Depth is set to 0. Normally for the Drag brush Depth is set to > 0, so that you are dragging the sphere 'inside' the surface. Also if you use the Hemisphere-shaped stamp (says Bubble in the tooltip), you will get less of the slippage out of the brush region.

More falloff controls certainly would be nice...
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: HolyEnigma74 on May 20, 2011, 11:08:02 PM
Could you maybe put a "Load default settings" button in the bottom for each brush?

It will load the default settings for the brush setting and mesh refinement parameters..

(I moved my stuff around and have no idea what the default is..  ;D would be nice to be able to set it back)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 20, 2011, 11:20:48 PM
yea, have been meaning to do that.

BTW, updated win32 builds here:  http://meshmixer.com/forum/index.php?topic=386.0     (have integrated some improvements from this thread...)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: HolyEnigma74 on May 20, 2011, 11:31:29 PM
THANK YOU!

BTW, another idea(hehe i got lots of those.. hehe...   ::) )


Intrude
(Or in Most programs its called "Shell" you already have extrude and the ability to make hollow parts so.. this looks to be possible IMHO)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm67PC2vtCU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm67PC2vtCU)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 20, 2011, 11:36:29 PM
Hrm...that could be tricky, hard to see how to do it easiliy, without the nice regular edge structure. Basically yea it is just an extrude, but that tool seems to automatically convert the end-face selection into selection of the faces to extrude. I'm not sure how it knows where to stop...
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: jim on May 21, 2011, 02:05:57 AM
Hey thank you Ryan, playin with the depth slider really does lead to a nice grip.
i way underestimated this feature, it actually provides some great control!

Uhm, this reminded me of another feature request i had though. ;)

i was wondering if it would be possible to have a ckeckbox for some kind of symmetry offset?
So that the brush on the symmetry side would try to snap to the closest surface normal or something to prevent the brush from floating or drowning on the other side if one is working on a slightly asymmetrical model.

id like to say how much i enjoy the symmetry approach in MM though!
It works absolutely great even when brushing over the symmetry line.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 21, 2011, 03:43:43 PM
Hi Jim, yes I can easily implement that. Actually that is how the symmetric-selection works right now. Will add flag.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: andreicirdu on May 21, 2011, 05:50:40 PM
I noticed that meshmixer is very CPU hungry, compared to zbrush and mudbox. Sculpting in mesh mixer brings the CPU to 70%, while in zb and mud it's at 7%. Some optimizing would be a nice touch.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 21, 2011, 06:46:07 PM
dynamic mesh sculpting is *much* more compute-intensive than mudbox/zbrush, which are just deforming a fixed mesh.

That said, why does the CPU usage matter? If anything, those guys should be optimizing to use *more* CPU....why wouldn't you want as much speed as possible??
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: andreicirdu on May 21, 2011, 06:55:03 PM
More heat=greater cost for electricity for the air conditioning. More CPU usage=more electricity used. It's not a big deal for a single user, but it can make an impact on the electricity bills if a studio used meshmixers.
Meshmixer's mixing and concepting features makes the creation process quicker so there's some time shaved off,thus saving some money, but it's nice to have a cool computer as much as posible during the summer time.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: jim on May 21, 2011, 07:20:54 PM
No mate, as RMS sayed, its necessary computing power that is goin on.
Your calculation does not add up cause its like you turn off 3 of your 4 cores during rendering.
The overall energy cost is the same here cause the rendering takes 4 times longer.  ;)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: andreicirdu on May 21, 2011, 07:38:54 PM
rendering is an automated process, but sculpting is not. I can sculpt a full character in 8 hours, no matter what software I use. In meshmixer it will be 8 hours of CPU at 70% and in mudbox it will be 8h at 7%...so mud will come at an advantage at electricity use
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: jim on May 21, 2011, 07:51:07 PM
No, as RMS explained, dynamic tessellation takes more calculation then regular mesh deformation.
So here, just as with rendering or sculpting in mudbox there is a fixed set of calculations for a given operation that just have to be computed.
The more CPU is used to finish them the better.

i must add that MM is very well optimized alerady!
i have 84% CPU need in sculptris where i have 41% in MM for the very same operation.
(stroke with same division detail on a model with same density and symmetry enabled)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 21, 2011, 08:28:55 PM
well, sculptris does use multiple CPUs if available, while meshmixer is single-threaded right now. So if you have dual-core, meshmixer will never be higher than 50% (although on newer intel multi-core machines, this doesn't mean half-power as it ratchets up the clock speed of that single core)

Basically both programs will use as much CPU as is available, most of the time. CPUs can never be too fast for this kind of thing. Definitely I can optimize meshmixer, but that will just mean that you see smoother strokes, it won't use less CPU. At some point, yes, there will be 'enough' computing power that at a given model resolution, the CPU can be largely idle. But then I will just figure out something else to use it for =)

I would be very surprised if any studio was concerned about the CPU usage of a modeling tool. It is minuscule compared to the power usage of rendering...
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: jim on May 21, 2011, 08:42:29 PM
Hmm, thats kinda odd ... my machine fires with all cannons in MM! (just with half the effort that sculptris needs)
(edit:Ah, i just realized that i rock sculptris with 4xAA ... but that should be taken care of by my GPU, right?
anyway ill do a another, proper comparesment, too.)

I would be very surprised if any studio was concerned about the CPU usage of a modeling tool. It is minuscule compared to the power usage of rendering...

Very true, this is the 1st time i heared about this.
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: andreicirdu on May 21, 2011, 08:56:51 PM
I can live with a hot CPU, but the things that bother me the most are the brush circle and the symmetry line. It's nice that the brush circle getts dimmer while sculpting, but the red zone is too distracting,especially with wide falloffs.I can't read the surface properly with that red demon that's allways where the action's at. Can you make the red dissapear while sculpting? Let it be visible only when the brush isn't sculpting. Or can you make it a simple circle like in zbrsh and mdbx?
And please, make the visibility of the symmetry line optional. 
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: jim on May 21, 2011, 09:24:10 PM
Hi Jim, yes I can easily implement that. Actually that is how the symmetric-selection works right now. Will add flag.

Ah yes, i ment to respond to this ... Thanks a lot for looking into it 1st of all.
Do you mean that it already should work like i discribed?
Cause i quick made a sample scene like in my  previous example image and the symmetry brush does float here on the mirrored -X porition.
how i picture it is that the mirrored brush moves straight on +Z untill it hits a polygon and applys the operation from there.

Dunno how it would work when the model is asymmetrical in a way that the brush is inside the model and not in front of it, but i guess ull figure it out  :D
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 21, 2011, 09:25:42 PM
No, it doesn't work that way yet. What I meant was that I can easily make it work that way, I just need to add a toggle to the UI
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: jim on May 21, 2011, 09:27:43 PM
Ah, okay  :D
i got that now ... thank you  ;D
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: HolyEnigma74 on May 21, 2011, 10:24:25 PM
Could offload some of the computational tasks to the GPU with OpenCL, Or DirectCompute(Both NVidia and ATI use it)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL)

Or Compile 2 versions  1 OpenCL Radeon 1 for NVIDIA CUDA  ;D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CUDA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CUDA)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 21, 2011, 11:01:33 PM
Yea, I have looked at this stuff, but for dynamic meshing it is not so useful. The problem is that they are generally mean for processing large blocks of data in batch. But when the mesh is changing each frame, it is probably going to actually be *more* expensive to use the GPU. I think MudBox uses CUDA, but it has a static mesh structure (when you are sculpting)



Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: HolyEnigma74 on May 21, 2011, 11:31:13 PM
oh i kinda see what you're saying..
3D-Coat Does it With Voxels so i figured it could be done
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 21, 2011, 11:34:18 PM
ah, well a voxel grid is just a 3D texture. It has fixed connectivity (each cell has 26 nbrs).

In a dynamic mesh, each vertex has K neighbours, and those neighbours change. So it is basically a large dynamic graph. Which, unfortunately, is the kind of problem that GPU-style stream processing is really bad at handling. This is why OpenGL and Direct3D don't support a "mesh" datatype - you have to break it down into a buffer of triangles or quads (if you have done graphics programming...)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: andreicirdu on May 23, 2011, 09:24:50 AM
The mesh seems to be tesselated under the whole diameter of the brush, even where the surface isn't visibly raised by the brush. Is it really necesary to have that tessellation? Can't it be optimized to tesselate only where the surface experiences visible height/depth changes? There should be a cutoff to the tesselation where the surface isn't visibly changed...only if it offers an advantage over the current impementation.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_MRd4TuQSEag/TdpeyHMdKGI/AAAAAAAAB34/k6KC7cpCkwA/tese.JPG)
Title: Re: sculpting tools
Post by: RMS on May 23, 2011, 10:38:06 AM
yup, I agree entirely. I haven't got that far, though, and doing that is quite a bit more complicated.

Basically there are various different ways to do things:
1) uniform refinement of brush area
2) refinement of brush area taking brush mask into account
3) refinement of brush area taking deformation into account

I am at (2) right now. Doing (3) is the next step, and the non-uniform reduce brush uses my initial implementation. But it is not robust enough yet for brushing. The problem for brushing is that to get nice-looking strokes, you want the uniform refinement. So when you go to adaptive refinement, the obvious approaches work like 95% of the time, but that other 5% shows up several times in any stroke, as ugly artifacts.

So, it's getting there...