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An update to Anim8or, v1.00b, is available with a few bug fixes. Get your copy HERE. See the "ReadMe" file for details.

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Author Topic: Topo Tool  (Read 17669 times)

Raxx

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2016, 11:55:25 pm »

Hey Steve, almost there!

Collapsing (LMB+Shift) isn't the same as dissolving. I was going to make some sample images but remembered nemyax did the same thing a while ago in this post: http://www.anim8or.com/smf/index.php/topic,4619.msg37601.html#msg37601 Dissolving is extremely useful in tandem with the topo tool, whereas collapsing is not. Basically if heals the mesh without affecting the surrounding components drastically. I'll see if I can provide a more in-depth video later.

If I may suggest, to change RMB+Shift to just RMB for moving points/edges. This feature will be used as often as the cutting action itself, so the shift just adds more burden to the user. Also, currently it's easy to accidentally dissolve/collapse components instead of move them, and vice versa.

It works with arc-rotate just peachy :)
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Raxx

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2016, 12:38:57 am »

Here's how dissolve works in XSI. It's actually the "delete" tool in that program. It would be nice if this was also the main "delete" function of Anim8or when in point edit mode. To do the original delete function, Ctrl+X can be used.

This way, for the topo tool, holding shift can become the modifier to toggle the select tool instead, with LMB, MMB, and RMB behaving as single/subtract/add select functions. RMB remains the move edge/point tool, and LMB the cutting tool. Deleting dissolves the selected components.

Just an idea for making the topo tool more efficient.


It doesn't show it in this video, but deleting faces removes the entire face making a hole in the manifold (like it does currently in Anim8or). However, deleting a group of faces removes the selected faces, as well as any p/e not connected to unselected faces.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 12:41:07 am by Raxx »
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Steve

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2016, 12:43:12 am »

OK I'll give these topo tool suggestions a whirl.  I'm still not sure about what to do if it creates an isolated island, or a good way to know if that's going to happen.  I guess there's always undo :)

I need to study your XSI video more though.

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nemyax

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2016, 03:31:35 am »

Steve
Now that you have a collapse function, could you make it available as an Edit menu command applicable to all current contiguous edge selections? It would be a more convenient way to collapse, especially because you often collapse stuff wholesale (for example, edge rings).
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Steve

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2016, 03:40:13 am »

nemyax: I don't really have a general collapse tool, just the special cases of a single point or edge.  But That was easy to add on top of the basic utilities inside Anim8or.  But I'll see if I can add one - it does seem useful.
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Steve

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2016, 05:21:40 am »

Build 1212 changes the topo knife to dissolve points/edges (almost like nemyax requested here), and changes RMB to move points and edges without the need to hold the Shift key down.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 05:22:01 am by Steve »
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nemyax

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2016, 07:44:43 am »

This is an outstanding update! The dissolve feature works perfectly so far. Thank you!
Steve, have you considered enabling Move Normal for the MMB in topo knife mode?
Is the Dissolve generic enough to also be an Edit menu item?
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Raxx

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2016, 10:30:53 am »

Steve, works great! I'm not sure if you're done with the dissolve feature, but when dissolving an edge, if a point on that edge is connected to exactly two other edges, that point needs to be dissolved as well.

I have a suggestion for changing the mouse actions. How about:
  • LMB: Same knife action
  • Shift+LMB: Toggle the Add Edge tool (with autofill when closing a face). If it's a click-drag in open space rather than on a point, it creates a new edge in space with the starting point located where you began the click-drag (if you drag the endpoint to a pre-existing point instead of releasing it in open space, it automatically connects to the mesh associated with that point--otherwise it starts a new mesh). There's also the idea that you can automatically merge two meshes when connecting a point of each mesh.
  • MMB: Same Dissolve Action. This makes it feel similar to the middle mouse deselect since it's subtractive.
  • Shift+MMB: Deletes the highlighted component.
  • RMB: Move Action
  • Shift+RMB: Move along normal action

I feel that Shift+whatever should be a modifier to the original action, hence this layout. With these new features, it covers about 90% of the box modeling process. It can be renamed to something like "Modeling Tool". I know I keep adding new ideas, but it would be a massive improvement to the already improved modelling workflow. What do you think?
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nemyax

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2016, 10:53:44 am »

I have a suggestion for changing the mouse actions. How about:
  • LMB: Same knife action
  • Shift+LMB: Toggle the Add Edge tool (with autofill when closing a face). If it's a click-drag in open space rather than on a point, it creates a new edge in space with the starting point located where you began the click-drag (if you drag the endpoint to a pre-existing point instead of releasing it in open space, it automatically connects to the mesh associated with that point--otherwise it starts a new mesh). There's also the idea that you can automatically merge two meshes when connecting a point of each mesh.
  • MMB: Same Dissolve Action. This makes it feel similar to the middle mouse deselect since it's subtractive.
  • Shift+MMB: Deletes the highlighted component.
  • RMB: Move Action
  • Shift+RMB: Move along normal action
May I suggest making Shift+MMB collapse the component (as in build 1210) instead of deleting it? You can easily delete by selecting the component(s) while holding down Ctrl+Shift and then pressing Delete. But there's no such quick route for collapsing. (Unless of course Steve adds a Collapse command and a hotkey for it.)
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Raxx

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2016, 11:08:22 am »

Huh, somewhere along the way I completely forgot about Ctrl+Shift toggling select. Since there's that, I agree with Shift+MMB collapsing the component.
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Steve

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2016, 08:37:36 pm »

Raxx:

  • When dissolving an edge, if a point on that edge is connected to exactly two other edges, that point needs to be dissolved as well - already done for the next update :)
  • Using the MMB can be problematic. Most mice use a wheel as the MMB and it's easy to accidentally rotate it when you're clicking. I'd like to avoid it if possible.
  • Shift+RMB: Move along normal action good idea - will do.
  • Shift+LMB: Toggle the Add Edge tool (with autofill when closing a face): How about using Ctrl+LMB for this?

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Trevor

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2016, 10:48:44 pm »

Ive never understood what this was before today.

I managed to get it working and gave it a whirl, pretty cool.

The deleting points/lines yet keeping face and UV co-ords is amazing, Add edge and auto-fill sounds great.

Ill need to play more to fully understand.

What is dissolve by the way?

I also agree that MMb should either be minimised OR at least have an alternative.

I do have a MMB and wheel, but having been recently using An8 on someone elses laptop I found soo much functionality missing without MMb... Big one was unable to deselect things...


Trev

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Steve

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2016, 10:52:30 pm »

Raxx, I'm not so sure that points with just 2 edges remaining should be merged.  It seems simple to just click on the points that you want dissolved after the edge is dissolved. I prefer #1 in these examples:

« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 10:54:57 pm by Steve »
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nemyax

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2016, 02:43:44 am »

Using the MMB can be problematic. Most mice use a wheel as the MMB and it's easy to accidentally rotate it when you're clicking. I'd like to avoid it if possible.
Then how about this layout?
  • LMB—Knife
  • Shift+LMB—Add Edge
  • Ctrl+LMB—Collapse
  • RMB—Move
  • Shift+RMB—Move Normal
  • Ctrl+RMB—Dissolve

I'm not so sure that points with just 2 edges remaining should be merged.
There's always Merge Faces in case you want to keep such points.
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Raxx

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Re: Topo Tool
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2016, 03:43:10 am »

    Using the MMB can be problematic. Most mice use a wheel as the MMB and it's easy to accidentally rotate it when you're clicking. I'd like to avoid it if possible.[/li][/list]

    We've always used MMB when deselecting, so why would this be an issue? I've had a mouse with a wheel for the MMB ever since I've started using Anim8or, and probably have done thousands of deselect actions with it.

    I'm not so sure that points with just 2 edges remaining should be merged.
    There's always Merge Faces in case you want to keep such points.

    Steve, the important thing about it is that it's being used as a part of the topo tool where it cleans up as it dissolves. Doing it like #1 is doing the dissolve without the cleanup. While doing in-depth modeling where I'm making tons of cuts and moves and dissolving, there are far more cases where I want the solo points gone, than the cases where I want them to stay.

    If you implement a standalone dissolve tool then you can add two modes for it -- soft dissolve and hard dissolve, where in soft dissolve it doesn't cleanup but hard dissolve it does. By the way, in XSI, hard dissolve deletes the 4-sided plane when dissolving the edge that bisects it. It doesn't pick one side or the other. I kind of agree with deleting it since logically that's what it should do when hard dissolving. So basically, it'd do everything in #2 except it'd delete that middle plane.

    I also still stand by the mouse configuration I first mentioned, since I think shift and ctrl need to remain feeling like modifiers in order to enhance familiarization with the tool. In fact, if you want to use Ctrl to further enhance this tool's capabilities...
    • LMB: Knife
    • Shift+LMB: Add Edge w/ auto fill
    • Ctrl+LMB: The original cut faces tool
    • MMB: Hard Dissolve
    • Shift + MMB: Soft Dissolve
    • Ctrl + MMB: Collapse
    • RMB: Move component
    • Shift+RMB: Move component along normal
    • Ctrl+RMB: Merge component (drag point to another point and it snaps and merges it to that point...drag edge to edge to merge)

    This way, Shift is a supplement action, Ctrl is a alternative-type-but-similar-to action.
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