Author Topic: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions  (Read 17319 times)

3DWP

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • http://www.3dwp.nl
    • View Profile
    • 3DWP 3D printing
Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« on: February 27, 2015, 03:31:15 PM »
Yesterday I saw this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfmY4Wk8bhA

It's about fixing a colored model and it has info about amazing functions in MeshMixer that I didn't know about. Where can I find more things like this? I would really like to know more about MeshMixer and I know a complete manual is alot of work..

But maybe people could list some things here that I and probably most beginners don't know? The ''double click an edge to select the surrounding triangles'' is a perfect example that can save people a lot of time.

I know one tip that I found a while ago listed by RMS at an update, P picks the color in paint mode.

Also: are there more MeshMixer 101 videos planned? I liked those and I always tell people that want to start with MM to watch those, they are easy and do show some nice things that are possible.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 03:35:26 PM by 3DWP »

MagWeb

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
    • View Profile
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2015, 06:25:39 PM »
The first time I downloaded Meshmixer I judged it to be a neat toy only to drop parts onto a surface.
Meanwhile Mm developed to be a very central application of my work. It's simply a swiss knife....And it's free...
What's my obligation (being no employee at Autodesk) ?: Think I've to give something back to the project.

Think nobody constructing a tool can ever judge what people may do with that tool. The guy forging a chisel could not imagine what Michelangelo would do with it. He could only say to Michelangelo: "Hit the chisel with a hammer" - That's what he would have written in his manual.
The either thing is to use the tool. Usage depends on the user's needs. To understand user's needs needs concrete feedback and maybe information about the way one could use the chisel.

What I want to say is that a manual (a description of a intended usage) is some scissors in a users head. It's much more effective to share knowledge in a community. One might have to give the same information several times and some things might get lost in the depths of a forum. But overall the users' needs will get visible.

Don't get me wrong: There's a lack of basic information ATM, sure - But instead of overloading developers (who should develop) wouldn't it be better if we jump in? Think that's in our very own interest. At least me - I'm not able to code such stuff, but I'm able to share my experiences.

I'd like to invite anybody to share HowToDo this or that, to share problems or maybe solutions, to document workflows... anyway is good.

And: DO NOT HESITATE to ask (a good question may be better than its answer)














I'm just a user as you are. Being no Autodesk employee: I do not know where this road will lead to, nor do I claim to've all stuff got right.

MagWeb

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
    • View Profile
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2015, 04:57:42 AM »
Just a comment on the video you linked to:

Maybe that's some secret too:
You do not need to fill holes via Select the boundaries to get color information in the infilled area.
Simply run Inspector using SmoothFill.
I'm just a user as you are. Being no Autodesk employee: I do not know where this road will lead to, nor do I claim to've all stuff got right.

3DWP

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • http://www.3dwp.nl
    • View Profile
    • 3DWP 3D printing
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2015, 12:56:23 PM »
Thanks, I know you are VERY skilled in MeshMixer and sometimes use it in ways the creator didn't even anticipate  :)

I am thinking about making a document with tips like in the video. I just don't know where to start, there is so much MeshMixer can do and I look at it from a 3D printing point of view.. I sometimes work with students (3D printing and scanning) and I made a first free PDF that they can use to edit a file in MM, I want to gain more knowledge to share and excite them to get into software like this. I tried to search the forum but still a lot of info I don't understand because people are already very skilled here.

So if anybody has a nice tip for using MeshMixer that people probably don't know, please share here.  :)

MagWeb

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
    • View Profile
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2015, 03:01:40 PM »
Yes: Where to start?

Did you know:
- that the little gear icon in the header of a tool's flyout allows to reset all values to default?
- that there are some sliders in the tools' flyouts which allow higher values than the sliders range (e.g.: SolidAccuracy , MeshDensity, OffsetDistance and MinDistance in MakeSolid)?  You may click on the displayed value to edit the value via keyboard or dragging the slider over its limit by slightly moving the cursor up- or downwards. Dragging the slider horizontal stops at the displayed slider's maximum.
- that double clicking at the boundary while doing SmoothBoundary adds a red handle to modify the shape of the boundary? Be careful dragging it to much might result in self intersections of the mesh.
- that there's still the old Smooth functionality? Hit "1" at your keyboard.
- that using the transform widgets with Snapping turned on (little S-circle is green) you can modify the snapping distance for translating and rotating with the Up and Down arrow keys on your keyboard?
- that the pink color running the Inspector means small isolated elements? You define whether those are errors or only small elements which should be kept with the SmallTresh slider.
- that the overhang shader material remembers the AngleTresh of Analysis/Overhangs?
- that Analysis/Stability also gives the object's volume and its surface area based on the units you've set at Analysis/UnitsDimensions?

....
 
I'm just a user as you are. Being no Autodesk employee: I do not know where this road will lead to, nor do I claim to've all stuff got right.

Philo

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
    • Philohome website
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 01:59:51 AM »
That's where you see the usefulness of some documentation - I forgot about the "1" smoothing and double click on smooth boundary...

As told by Magweb, different users have different usages! See for example my low-poly count tutorials, something MM was not created for initially.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 02:04:55 AM by Philo »
Philo

MagWeb

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
    • View Profile
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 07:39:25 AM »
Another maybe not that intuitive tool might be
Wrap in SELECT/Deform:
Did you know
- that this tool works on a single "selection island" only?  The selection has to have exactly one boundary (not less or more) towards not selected faces.
- that within this tool double clicking on the selected areas creates handles (red spheres)? Double clicking such a handle again removes it. Dragging the handles allows elastic deformation without changing the tessellation.
I'm just a user as you are. Being no Autodesk employee: I do not know where this road will lead to, nor do I claim to've all stuff got right.

Philo

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
    • Philohome website
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 12:46:33 PM »
Quote
- that within this tool double clicking on the selected areas creates handles (red spheres)?
Right click works too (and may be easier)
Philo

3DWP

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • http://www.3dwp.nl
    • View Profile
    • 3DWP 3D printing
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 01:22:00 PM »
Wow, great! Keep them coming :)

- When selecting an area and you want to highlight everything within that selection including little missed spots increase and decrease a couple of times.

So for example first 3X > and then 3X <

MagWeb

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
    • View Profile
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2015, 04:50:28 PM »
Ad
EDIT/Transform:
Did you know
- that the center of the transform widget is calculated based on the mesh's density? - Means if the mesh is denser on a certain region the widget moves closer to that area which affects the center of rotation.
- that if there are two or more separate objects in the scene you can activate several objects by clicking them with Shift pressed and transform them in one go? Note: The Transform widget is set to the first activated object. One can use this to define the pivot (best: using a tiny sphere object).
I'm just a user as you are. Being no Autodesk employee: I do not know where this road will lead to, nor do I claim to've all stuff got right.

MagWeb

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
    • View Profile
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2015, 06:59:03 AM »
Ad:
SELECT/Modify/SelectVisible:
Did you know
- that this expands a tiny selection to all the faces in the current view nearest to the virtual cam for each "ray of view"? ( Based on a cam being not in orthographic view)
- that running it while SHIFT is pressed the new result is added to the previous selection?

@3DWP: Think I should move it to the Q&T's - Do you agree?

I'm just a user as you are. Being no Autodesk employee: I do not know where this road will lead to, nor do I claim to've all stuff got right.

3DWP

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • http://www.3dwp.nl
    • View Profile
    • 3DWP 3D printing
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2015, 09:05:34 AM »
Thanks for all the info, it should keep me busy for a while  :)

Yes, it now fits more in Q&T thanks.

RMS

  • meshmixer founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1238
    • View Profile
    • gradientspace
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2015, 12:14:42 PM »
I love this thread =).  Here are a few that some of you might not know:

- in Select, once you have a selection you can right-drag to expand/contract by distance (rather than by rings of triangles). Right-drag only works in "meshmixer" camera mode, but on mac laptop trackpad you can applekey-scroll. (I think there is also a windows hotkey combination, but I cannot check right now...)

- In Selection, you can left-drag starting on the background to do a lasso. However if you start with a left-click, then you can draw a polygon instead of a continuous curve

- In Plane Cut and Mirror, you can left-drag starting on the background to draw a cutting line

- 'C' hotkey when the cursor is over the model will center the camera at that point

- When you have a selection, the fit-to-view button in the hotbox (hold spacebar, button to right of magnifying glass) will fit the view to your selection. This will also reset the near-clipping-plane, so you can get close up to something small without it getting clipped by the near plane. (if you do this and then zoom back out, you might see z-fighting artifacts, in which case you should do another fit-to-view

- The little "tools" icon next to the Symmetry checkboxes in Select/Sculpt will let you change the symmetry plane

- If you try to run a tool on a selection and it turns pink, then the operation could not be initialized. Often this is because the boundary of the selection is invalid. Cancel and hit the 'o' key to try to automatically clean up the selection at the borders (or select Optimize Boundary under the Modify menu). Then run the tool again. It won't *always* work, but it will *usually* work =)

- If you have a selection, Y hotkey will Separate the selection. If you select multiple objects, Y hotkey will Combine them. So basically it is a contextual group/ungroup. And Shift-Y will do a Separate-Shells.
created meshmixer - now starting gradientspace - meshmixer consulting available http://www.gradientspace.com/consulting

MagWeb

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
    • View Profile
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2015, 01:03:29 PM »
Right-drag only works in "meshmixer" camera mode
To set this camera mode: Go to Menu/File/Preferences: General and set NavigationMode to Meshmixer

Ad Preferences: File
Did you know that enabling "ExportFaceGroups and Groups" allows to have the same groups in third-party applications supporting groups (although you might run into trouble if a third-party app splits groups into different objects)

Did you know that Meshmixer allows a gradient background with two colors? To get this you've to edit the mishmixer.ini file
e.g. These lines give a blue to slight grey gadient:

BackgroundColorTop=@Variant(\0\0\0\x43\x1\xff\xff\xce\n\xce\n\xce\n\0\0)
BackgroundColorBottom=@Variant(\0\0\0\x43\x1\xff\xff+_Z\xc6k\xec\0\0)
I'm just a user as you are. Being no Autodesk employee: I do not know where this road will lead to, nor do I claim to've all stuff got right.

MagWeb

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
    • View Profile
Re: Manual or list of handy (''hidden'') functions
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2015, 04:24:02 PM »
Another one:

Ad SCULPT/PinchBrush:
Did you know that this brush pulls the vertices to its center?
So this if this center is at the existing surface (Depth at zero) it simply moves vertices along the existing surface. Instead if the brush's center is above the surface (Depth on a negative value) it pulls out. If Depth is at a positive value the brush digs into the surface. It's a nice way to refine sharp edges
I'm just a user as you are. Being no Autodesk employee: I do not know where this road will lead to, nor do I claim to've all stuff got right.