Anim8or Community

General Category => Ongoing Anim8or Development => Topic started by: Raxx on February 06, 2015, 09:16:29 pm

Title: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on February 06, 2015, 09:16:29 pm
The topo knife is my primary method of detailing when doing polygonal modeling. Basically it only cuts the edges/faces of faces shared by the starting point/edge, with no chance whatsoever of unintentionally cutting what you don't intend to cut (such as stuff underneath). It allows for fast, precise placement of edges.

I uploaded a youtube vid of the XSI version of the tool a while back. Its delete tool also shows what I believe is the p/e dissolve feature that you requested earlier.

[/youtube]

I also show its usage a lot later on in my minotaur making-of video.

[/youtube]
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on February 07, 2015, 11:45:58 am
Basically it only cuts the edges/faces of faces shared by the starting point/edge, with no chance whatsoever of unintentionally cutting what you don't intend to cut (such as stuff underneath).
I see. But what about the existing slice-the-hell-through functionality for situations when you do need it?

Off topic: I couldn't find a "topo"-labeled tool in Mod Tool, but what you showed in the video looks like Add Edge.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: ronaldefarmer on February 07, 2015, 02:42:41 pm
Topo knife would be very useful.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: neirao on February 07, 2015, 07:52:46 pm
Topo knife would be very useful.
  yes!! very useful!! i like it!!
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on February 08, 2015, 12:53:51 am
Topo knife would be very useful.
  yes!! very useful!! i like it!!

Yup ;)

Basically it only cuts the edges/faces of faces shared by the starting point/edge, with no chance whatsoever of unintentionally cutting what you don't intend to cut (such as stuff underneath).
I see. But what about the existing slice-the-hell-through functionality for situations when you do need it?

Off topic: I couldn't find a "topo"-labeled tool in Mod Tool, but what you showed in the video looks like Add Edge.

I never suggested it as a replacement. More like an addition as a separate tool or enhancement to the current Add Edge tool. In Mod Tool, it's called the Add Edge tool. I just called it topo knife because that's basically what I use it for.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on February 08, 2015, 04:24:40 am
Don't worry, I won't get rid of the existing cut tool when adding the topo knife :)
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on February 08, 2015, 09:08:56 am
So the tool is as good as a done deal then — very nice =)
For it to be as useful as XSI's, it should support fast select-style highlighting.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on February 08, 2015, 05:55:10 pm
So the tool is as good as a done deal then — very nice =)
I don't know when I'll have it ready.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on February 11, 2015, 01:47:34 am
A couple of differences between the old knife tool and the topo knife:
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: davdud101 on February 11, 2015, 04:49:08 pm
I actually just started using 3DS max for school and I se what a topo knife is. I guess I personally wouldn't need it as much then. It's is pretty weird using it with the mirror
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on February 19, 2015, 01:01:35 am
I split this off from the previous topic it was in to make it easier to find. Oops, I missed a couple of comments though, and don't now how to add them ---
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on December 21, 2015, 12:46:26 am
I just posted build 1205 (http://www.anim8or.com/download/preview/files/animcl1205.zip) with a Topo Knife tool in the Point Editor (short cut <k>). It works on Meshes and Subdivision objects. Left click and release on a point or an edge to start.  Then continue left-click/releasing on adjacent edges and points to make cuts.  Exit by right-clicking or selecting another tool.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: captaindrewi on December 21, 2015, 02:36:52 am
Great.working nicely
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on December 21, 2015, 07:59:25 am
Hey Steve, works great! I've been playing around with it and I have a few ideas that I think are the two main things a user would do as soon as they finish making their topo cuts. If it's already integrated into the tool then it'll make it extremely easy for beginners and experts alike to do box modeling.


Oh, and as side note, I think that it should create the point when you left click on the edge then right-click afterwards. This way people can add more edges to a face without exiting the tool.

Thanks a lot for the update Steve!
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on December 21, 2015, 09:20:35 am
The topo tool is broken in perspective view.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on December 21, 2015, 09:27:36 am
I never use that view so I never noticed...it should be noted that the old knife tool is also bugged out in perspective view when not simply knifing across the workspace.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on December 21, 2015, 09:32:03 am
Yes, many tools seem to go completely untested in perspective.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on December 21, 2015, 03:33:54 pm
nemyax:  ok I'll look into it when I'm back home after Christmas.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on December 21, 2015, 04:24:41 pm
Thanks, Steve!
Raxx has some excellent suggestions in his post, and I'd like to add one more twist to his "RMB drag to move" idea: when you are RMB-dragging a point, then left-clicking should merge it with the point directly behind it (give or take a couple of pixels) in the view. A similar feature comes in super handy in Animation:Master and Metasequoia.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on December 22, 2015, 12:02:08 pm
Also, the current component mode should be ignored (grey out the point/edge/face buttons?) while the topo tool is active. You expect it to work on points and edges no matter what mode you used before it—that's what you've activated it for.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on December 22, 2015, 03:56:57 pm
It's also useful to disable edges if you only want to connect points, etc. But I could make it always start with at least one of them enabled. Faces only doesn't make sense.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: ronaldefarmer on December 26, 2015, 02:40:32 am
Great tool! I realize that the idea is to prevent cutting faces unintentionally, but I think it would be nice if you could cut two or three adjacent faces and edges at once.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Hypure on December 26, 2015, 05:48:15 pm
I personally prefer perspective view because I can go "inside" and work so that things don't block my view.   Don't know what I would do with out it.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on December 28, 2015, 03:21:20 am
I have a fix for perspective view but unfortunately my website is over it's quota on file count.  There are a lot of old files that I can't delete.  I'm working on this with tech support and will post something when I can.  Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: cooldude234 on December 31, 2015, 11:22:19 am
Ah that would explain the photo uploading problem I had :P
Hope you get it fixed for all our sakes ;p
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 07, 2016, 03:36:42 am
There's also a problem with the topo tool when you have multiple editing windows open.  I have a fix for this, too, and should have this and the perspective bug fix posted soon.  (The file limit problem on anim8or.com is already fixed.)

Happy New Year!
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 07, 2016, 09:20:13 pm
Check out build 1208 (http://www.anim8or.com/download/preview/files/animcl1208.zip) which should fix these problems :)
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on January 08, 2016, 05:56:35 am
Hey Steve, that seems to have fixed it, but now after arc-rotating after starting a cut, the preview line moves in a displaced fashion (though cuts can still be made where the mouse is, and it goes back to normal after the cut)
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 08, 2016, 07:03:14 am
Arc-rotate.  Too many things can happen in the middle of a cut :)  I think all I need to do is recalculate the global transform after a rotate.  Thanks for the feedback - should be easy to fix.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 10, 2016, 10:05:15 pm
Build 1210 (http://www.anim8or.com/download/preview/files/animcl1210.zip) is ready with what I hope is a full set of features, including:

    RMB with an initial split edge now retains the split.
    LMB+Shift with no initial component collapses the point/edge.
    RMB+Shift moves highlighted point/edge in the same manner as PointMove(LMB).
    Fix incorrect location after arc rotate, screen size change.

raxx: I don't know if the delete point feature works as you wanted.  I merge all edges that has that point in common and use the average position for the merged point.  Let me know if that's OK and if I've missed anything :)
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx 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 :)
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx 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.


https://youtu.be/NWnXmUxmeUk (https://youtu.be/NWnXmUxmeUk)

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.

Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve 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.

Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax 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).
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve 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.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 19, 2016, 05:21:40 am
Build 1212 (http://www.anim8or.com/download/preview/files/animcl1212.zip) changes the topo knife to dissolve points/edges (almost like nemyax requested here (http://www.anim8or.com/smf/index.php/topic,4619.msg37601.html#msg37601)), and changes RMB to move points and edges without the need to hold the Shift key down.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax 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?
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx 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:

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?
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax 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.)
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx 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.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 19, 2016, 08:37:36 pm
Raxx:


Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Trevor 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

Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve 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:

Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax 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?

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.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx 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...

This way, Shift is a supplement action, Ctrl is a alternative-type-but-similar-to action.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: captaindrewi on January 20, 2016, 09:54:44 am
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
Would be nice to have an alternative key to act as mmb for laptops that don't have a mmb. As Trev has highlighted.
I have drawn attention to it before.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 20, 2016, 10:00:29 am
Would be nice to have an alternative key to act as mmb for laptops that don't have a mmb.
The least-surprise approach would be to emulate MMB with both LMB and RMB clicked/held together, the way X Window does it in Unix-like systems.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: captaindrewi on January 20, 2016, 01:40:51 pm
Unfortunately that doesn't help when using the uv tool as you need both mmb and rmb for scaling the uv image etc.[re functionality of laptops without built in mmb]
Sorry I'm interrupting the main subject matter of this topic.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Trevor on January 20, 2016, 02:43:47 pm
I should note that I do support MMB operations, clicking with the wheel is no problem, I only state that a long way is needed.

eg, to zoom, we use the wheel or Alt+MMB, if no wheel or MMB available you can still use View tool and Zoom.

So, to deselect things we need an alternative.



I like the Shift CTRL descriptions of alternate and similar operations. A third would be Ctrl+Shift as pressing both together is easy. So that gives the topo tool 9 operations all with the mouse. (I mean 12 oops)

I suppose another alternative to MMB is Ctrl+Alt+RMB (unless I missed something prior)
Now I know someone is going to say "Alt is Arc-Rotate", but Im specifying Ctrl First. This means that Ctrl alters the Alt key to no longer bring up the Arc-rotate and to instead start accepting MB's. This could also tally up Topo Tool mouse options to 13...
Normalx3, Shiftx3, Ctrlx3, Ctrl+Shiftx3 + Ctrl+Alt+LMB
Oh well, 13 goes with the halloween theme (yeah, I prefer the classic blue as you may have seen in the merge points discussion)

Trev
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 20, 2016, 02:47:48 pm
A third would be Ctrl+Shift as pressing both together is easy.
Ctrl+Shift is reserved for temporary Select.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Hypure on January 20, 2016, 06:33:26 pm
Tried the topo and knife out, I have been watching you guys working on it and WOW, very cool!
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: kreator on January 22, 2016, 08:29:20 pm
Unfortunately that doesn't help when using the uv tool as you need both mmb and rmb for scaling the uv image etc.

Hopefully that will be sorted out eventually its always been a nightmare to use, no fine adjustment etc, its  a bit haphazard eh?!
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 27, 2016, 01:42:53 am
OK I've done a lot of experimenting with various configurations.  There's a danger of making the topo knife too complex for easy use if too many functions are added.  In addition to the 9 possible tools (LMB/MMB/RMB)x(no-key/shift/ctrl) you have: Is the topoknife active or not? Was it a click-release or click-drag? Was the click on something on in empty space? Etc.

Therefore I've decided to limit the functionality to a set of actions that work well together:

LMB: Adds new vertex/edge i.e. the normal topoknife.  Only cuts across a single face from the previous topo knife point.
LMB+Shift: Dissolve edge or point.  Does not clean up since it's sometimes ambiguous to know what to clean-up. It's simple for the user to click again to do thins since it's just a repeated click.
LMB+Ctrl: "Floating" topo knife.  Adds a new edge in space, or connects to an edge or point that's not on the same face.  Attempts to auto-fill faces for holes with 6 or fewer edges.

RMB: If active, deactivate topo knife.  If inactive, dragging moves highlighted point or edge in the plane of the screen.
RMB+Shift:  If active, deactivate topo knife.  If inactive, dragging moves highlighted point or edge in the points' normal directions.
RMB+Ctrl:  If active, deactivate topo knife.

MMB: Nop.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 27, 2016, 08:46:05 am
The topo knife doesn't work across faces that touch the mirror plane. However, it turns out you can use the new Ctrl+LMB mode to work around this.
Steve, will there be standalone Dissolve and Collapse?
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on January 28, 2016, 02:17:14 am
I don't have any complaints about the current button setup. A few other things, however:

LMB+Ctrl: When adding new faces, their normals are flipped opposite of what the connecting faces are.

LMB+Shift: I still think it needs to clean points when dissolving edges and the point has two edges remaining. It's simple, sure, to afterwards click on the point and dissolve it. But then multiply that by dozens of times per model vs one or two times needing the other scenario and you have the greater of two evils. Again, merging faces or implementing a standalone dissolve tool would take care of those couple other cases where cleaning isn't needed.

Picking Radius: This applies to the RMB-move for the topo knife and the move tool in fast select mode. The picking radius for points is much too small for comfort. In XSI (Blender and Wings3D have advanced picking as well), it begins picking the closest p/e/f at 80 pixels. Points get absolute priority (this is important!) when the mouse is around 12 pixels away from it. Edges get next priority over faces, at about 12 pixels distance as well. I know I've been harping about this before, but it makes for an extremely smooth and natural experience when modeling and I can't think of any reason not to have this level of picking. When testing this and previous builds with the topo tool, it's been something of a sore point for me.

As for picking when using LMB actions of the topo tool, 12 pixels with point priority would be fabulous. Even when doing small tests earlier, there have been times when I unintentionally made cuts right next to the points I was wanting to connect to, resulting in duplicate points I didn't discover until much later. If it had instead snapped to the points properly, I wouldn't have had to clean it up later by dissolving the edge and then dissolving the point. If the user needs cuts extremely close to other points, then zooming in and cutting, or making the chain of cuts or connecting edges and then sliding the points afterwords would suffice.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 28, 2016, 04:30:03 am
It's simple, sure, to afterwards click on the point and dissolve it. But then multiply that by dozens of times per model vs one or two times needing the other scenario and you have the greater of two evils.
In addition, after you've dissolved an edge, and a point with valency 2 has been left behind, it can become hidden by a face if you're working in shaded mode. You have to jump around for a new angle or switch viewport modes just to clean up. I also feel strongly that the cleanup should be automatic for this particular tool.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Trevor on January 28, 2016, 01:53:59 pm
It seems that the example you gave with perimiter shapes is probably a bad one.
In that example I agree with you that the perimiter should be unchanged (Option 1)

However it seems that the complaint centers around internal points, where a vertex is left laying co-planner to 2 other verticies and not connected by any other lines. So this case is

 IF Vertex connected to 2 other Verticies THEN
         IF Vertex is co-planner to Connected_Verticies THEN
                 Remove Vertex
 ELSE do nothing


How does this sound to everyone?

Trev
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 28, 2016, 01:59:42 pm
Trevor
Sounds like an unnecessary distinction. Most of the time in practice, the point you'll want cleaned up won't be collinear with the other two.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 28, 2016, 02:24:52 pm
The conventional behaviour of dissolve-with-cleanup is as in example 4:
(http://pix.academ.info/images/img/2016/01/28/6e647a237f9781a906ccf79634c9efe1.png)

But it's not very useful to show free-floating polygons as an example. You can only see the convenience when this happens in the middle of a mesh.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Trevor on January 28, 2016, 03:15:20 pm
Hmmm... can I just point out one problem/error with your example number 4.3, the 4 tris where you delete the line connecting the mid-top verticies, if you remove this you will not result in 4, but in only 1 triangle in the lower right.

If not then you yourself are also incuring special instances as an8 cannot just fill holes, but instead also has to draw a new line. An8 may not know that you want a new line to connect verticies 1 and 4...


Steve also mentioned the same problem with examples 2 and 3, how does an8 choose which tri to keep? It cant.


Trev
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 28, 2016, 03:28:59 pm
Do you mean this one?

(http://pix.academ.info/images/img/2016/01/28/787c4bdb151858040c465ee99c9be29b.png)

It's an actual before-and-after from Blender. The logic goes like this: remove the edge; out of the two vertices that are affected, one has valency 3—leave it be, the other has valency 2—nuke it; don't touch any other vertices or edges.

As for example 4.2, point cleanup in Anim8or should probably result in a single edge rather than nothing, because Anim8or supports floating edges.

Here's a topo knife demo I've recorded for another community:

In that session, cleanup was needed practically every single time I did an edge dissolve.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Trevor on January 29, 2016, 06:37:28 pm
Nice vid.

ok, I see what the problem is, it really is that perimiters need to be deleted.

I still dont get how an8 will know how to connect faces like you show, but Ill let steve deal with that hahaha.

I havnt really used the tool fully yet, Im still doing things the long individual way (knife, add edge, Shift+J etc)

If this tool is still subject to change, I will leave it untill its settled. I know what Im doing as I do it now.

Trev
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 29, 2016, 07:20:27 pm
I still dont get how an8 will know how to connect faces like you show
If you want to understand the workings, try it in Blender (press Delete, use the Dissolve Edges command with the Dissolve Verts option) or Wings (RMB on the Dissolve command in the context menu).
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Trevor on January 30, 2016, 05:12:32 pm
I dont have either of those, I only have an8.

Mostly because an8 still supports all my hardware configurations and OS's but the others dont and havnt for a long time.
Not to mention that I have absolutly no idea how to do anything in them except maybe place a primitive.

Since you seem good at making videos, perhaps you could make a comparison vid showing the same features in blender.

As you say, showing individual polygons is not good for examples sake, but that sword you made showed clearly some feature alteration requests.

Trev
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 30, 2016, 10:08:46 pm
Raxx already posted a perfect demo video of the feature in reply #31 (http://www.anim8or.com/smf/index.php/topic,5087.msg39534.html#msg39534) to this topic.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Trevor on January 30, 2016, 11:25:32 pm
Ah, cheers, ok, I think I see it now compared to your video.

Its almost the same princible as deleting them except that it auto fills and to avoid malformed faces, adds lines to non removed lines.

Although... he did have a malformed mesh at the end of the video.

Anyway, I think I will wait untill things are set before learning how to use this tool, although I really do like the face and UV preservation. It beats the hell out of Delete > fill holes > re UV.

Trev
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 31, 2016, 12:49:58 am
I have cleanup working after dissolving edges, but now I have a question about dissolving points.  In nemyax's post (http://www.anim8or.com/smf/index.php/topic,4619.msg37601.html#msg37601) showing how to do dissolves there is no mention of a cleanup after dissolve points. But they can also end up with similar 2-edge points.  Should they be cleaned as well?
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on January 31, 2016, 01:23:41 am
Yeah. In XSI it dissolves those points and it feels pretty natural. There aren't many cases where one would want to keep those floating points, and merging faces or (assuming it's implemented) using standalone dissolve will allow the user to keep them.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 31, 2016, 03:55:35 am
OK, that's what I thought.  It's almost ready.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: thecolclough on January 31, 2016, 04:04:39 pm
There aren't many cases where one would want to keep those floating points, and merging faces or (assuming it's implemented) using standalone dissolve will allow the user to keep them.
or there's always the standard knife tool to put them back again if the user really wanted them
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 31, 2016, 05:33:05 pm
There aren't many cases where one would want to keep those floating points, and merging faces or (assuming it's implemented) using standalone dissolve will allow the user to keep them.
or there's always the standard knife tool to put them back again if the user really wanted them
You can also put them back while still using the topo knife. The normal LMB adds points within existing lines and Ctrl-LMB connects to arbitrary points/edges and adds new points in mid-air.

Note: I just posted build 1215 (http://www.anim8or.com/download/preview/files/animcl1215.zip) with which does clesn-up after dissolve point/edge.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on January 31, 2016, 06:40:48 pm
Awesome!
Mirroring needs some more work: the cleanups don't propagate across the mirror plane. That's in addition to all the other problems (http://www.anim8or.com/smf/index.php/topic,4795.msg39589.html#msg39589) with the mirror.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 31, 2016, 09:38:49 pm
Working on mirroring issues now.  I've also found some case where the clean-up goes a little to far when it's at the edge of a mesh.  I'm fixing those, too.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Trevor on January 31, 2016, 10:17:56 pm
How do you get mirror mode to work, it always crashes for me or simply does nothing, oh wait, it makes my model dissapear, doesnt matter what I use as mirror source, it just dissapears.

I can undo to get my model back.


The only mirror I can use is "Mirror Image" which I do last for symetrical objects like an engine cowl.

Trev
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on January 31, 2016, 11:08:22 pm
Mirror mode has a lot of issues - I think it was neglected by it's mother when it was little.  I'm slowly cleaning them up.
I have to admit that if I'd known how difficult it was going to be to add, I probably wouldn't have done it.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Hypure on February 01, 2016, 03:58:58 am
I always use mirror after I complete one side of the model, but I notice it must be aligned on a particular plane.... Even as a broken tool it is still super valuable.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on February 01, 2016, 06:57:16 am
I have to admit that if I'd known how difficult it was going to be to add, I probably wouldn't have done it.
Break a mirror, get seven years of bad luck =)
If the current implementation is so much trouble, maybe a different approach would work? For example, the way Wings uses an existing face as the mirror plane.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on February 01, 2016, 08:18:53 am
Something I said a while ago...

Quote
Symmetrical Editing: I know you put a lot of effort in the mirror functionality, and I don't want to be a buzzkill, but it feels inherently flawed. There are a lot of limitations with its use, such as if you want unique UVs, and then you need to make some tweaks to the geometry, you're kind of screwed because converting it to mirrored will kill the unique UVs. Mirrored editing is completely restricted to right-side editing and only on the X-axis. You haven't resolved the morph targets issue either. What I suggest is to instead implement symmetrical editing. Here's the low-down:
  • You can have X-,Y-, or Z-axis symmetrical editing (toggle-able, perhaps enabled by middle-clicking on one of the axis buttons, and having each axis option in Options->Symmetry).
  • Symmetrical editing is different in that it doesn't automatically change a mesh in any way or have the mesh in an "active mirrored" state. It only affects actions, and does not affect selections. Meaning if you select something on one side, it won't select anything on the other side. However, as soon as you move an element, it mirrors that movement. Highlighting will be mirrored, however, to indicate that an element is going to be edited symmetrically.
  • The logic is simple. If there is an element of the same type located on the other side, within a few units' tolerance, it performs the same action, just inverted, as the element that's currently being edited. If there is no element on the other side, no biggie. Determining if it's the same type can probably be done by checking if the point structure is the same.
  • Elements on the plane of symmetry (give or take one or two units) can only be moved along that plane. If the same element is selected on both sides and moved, it can only be moved along the plane and not side-to-side.
  • You can edit on either side, and the other side will have the actions mirrored. It's not restricted to just one side of the axis.
  • Other edits, like cuts, will be mirrored automatically if the elements being cut are identical on the other side.
  • For point-editing, the plane of symmetry should automatically be based on the center of geometry, not the world coordinates. There could be a toggle-able option to force symmetry along the world coordinates in all cases. Options->Symmetry->Menu items would be a nice location.
  • This doesn't have to only apply to P/E/F. Whole shapes can be moved symmetrically (in this case, the plane of symmetry would be the world coordinates). A symmetrical shape can be determined as such if its bounding box size and location is the same (give or take a tolerance of a few units), it's the same type of shape (mesh vs spline vs parametric vs etc) and it has the same number of points.
  • The automatic mirrored replacement and wielding of mesh shapes is useful. I think it would be great if the Mirror Parameters dialog for Build->Mirror Image... had an option to do this.
  • The benefits to this is obvious. No issues with morphs, or having to deal with special considerations for mirrored objects in the other editors. It retains unique geometry, no fear on the user's end of losing stuff. No extra stuff in the an8 file. This type of editing can be extended to the figure and sequence editors very naturally without any additional learning curve for the user.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on February 01, 2016, 08:50:06 am
Build 1215, when dissolving outer points, sometimes it does weird things. Try dissolving the outer points in the attached file, some dissolve edges of points adjacent to them.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on February 01, 2016, 10:19:55 am
Something I said a while ago...
This is a good writeup. I'd only like to point out that Metasequoia manages the things you describe well enough: it has both the toggle-able symmetrical editing functionality and an option to constrain vertices to the plane no matter what.
Incidentally, Metasequoia 4 is free to download and look into.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on February 01, 2016, 05:30:27 pm
...  I've also found some case where the clean-up goes a little to far when it's at the edge of a mesh.  I'm fixing those, too.
This is fixed for the next build.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: kakachiex on February 02, 2016, 03:59:11 pm
Animor is getting better in every release
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Raxx on February 22, 2016, 04:39:37 am
Topo tool doesn't work on subdivision cage meshes when Outline is disabled in Configure->UI for that view.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on February 27, 2016, 02:39:53 am
I accidentally disabled points and edges for the topo tool as well as the rest of the point-editing tools for subdivision control cages if they aren't shown for normal meshes. Since they are always shown for control cages you should be able to edit them.  I'll fix this.

#098-080 - Topo knife doesn't work on subdivision cage meshes when outline is disabled for that view.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on March 14, 2016, 01:07:44 am
Build 1227 (http://www.anim8or.com/download/preview/files/animcl1227.zip) cleans up many of the mirrored mesh issues.  It also changes color from yellow to orange when your mouse is over a valid target to make it easier to see.  This especially helps when you are over a vertex.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Sluggs on March 21, 2016, 12:12:05 am
I'm getting crashes when trying the Topo tool on the attached .an8 file.

I'm not actually wanting to do anything with this mesh, I was just testing the tool and got all these crashes!

This happened in both 1227 and 1229

(The mesh was made via lathing a spline. Even after merging all the points, saving it and trying it on that version, it still did it)
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: slex on March 21, 2016, 01:24:10 am
Sluggs-  see if Comodo antivirus is sandboxing Anim8or and if you have enough ram memory. On my comp it didn't make problems.
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Sluggs on March 21, 2016, 02:11:16 am
Well, the Auto-Sandbox thing in Comodo Firewall is disabled, and I just turned off the Netbook for a short while and tried it again, and it still crashed. (Anim8or was only using up 27mb at that moment)

When I tested the tool with a new mesh (a cylinder), it didn't crash, so I'm assuming that mesh is causing Anim8or to crash for some reason.

I thought it could have been it's size too, but when I reduced it, it still crashed Anim8or. O_o
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on March 21, 2016, 02:14:03 am
Sluggs: Do you have a sequence of actions that reliably reproduces the crash?  I've done about a dozen different long edits of your model with the topo tool and haven't had a crash from 1127 or 1129. Also how big is you undo buffer?  And does it crash right away or do  you need to do a lot of editing first?
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Sluggs on March 21, 2016, 02:26:20 am
Steve, it was set at 100 so I set it to just 1mb and tried again, but it still crashed.

Once it crashed when I first cut only one face, but it usually crashes after cutting a few.

Since it's OK for you guys, it must be this Netbook then, and it's old drivers. (It's got Windows XP on it, as that OS uses less system resources)
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Steve on March 21, 2016, 02:42:22 am
Are you using the new OpenGL renderer (Options->Debug->New OGL Renderer)? I noticed that there aren't any axis letters shown in the lower left-hand corner. What graphics does your computer have?
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Sluggs on March 21, 2016, 02:54:12 am
That was enabled, so I unchecked it and tried again. Still crashed.

------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 3/21/2016, 02:49:26
       Machine name:
   Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp.080413-2111)
           Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Packard Bell
       System Model: DOT SE
               BIOS: InsydeH2O Version V3.08(DDR2)
          Processor: Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N450   @ 1.66GHz (2 CPUs)
             Memory: 1014MB RAM
          Page File: 650MB used, 1790MB available
        Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
     DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.5512 32bit Unicode

---------------
Display Devices
---------------
        Card name: Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator 3150
     Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
        Chip type: Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator 3150
         DAC type: Internal
       Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_A011&SUBSYS_034A1025&REV_00
   Display Memory: 256.0 MB
     Current Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (85Hz)
          Monitor: Plug and Play Monitor
  Monitor Max Res: 1600,1200
      Driver Name: igxprd32.dll
   Driver Version: 6.14.0010.5260 (English)
      DDI Version: 9 (or higher)
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
 Driver Date/Size: 4/25/2010 18:01:18, 57344 bytes
      WHQL Logo'd: n/a
  WHQL Date Stamp: n/a
              VDD: n/a
         Mini VDD: igxpmp32.sys
    Mini VDD Date: 4/25/2010 18:00:26, 1754912 bytes
Device Identifier: {D7B78E66-E351-11CF-1967-4023A1C2CB35}
        Vendor ID: 0x8086
        Device ID: 0xA011
        SubSys ID: 0x034A1025
      Revision ID: 0x0000
      Revision ID: 0x0000
      Video Accel:
 Deinterlace Caps: n/a
         Registry: OK
     DDraw Status: Enabled
       D3D Status: Enabled
       AGP Status: Not Available
DDraw Test Result: Not run
 D3D7 Test Result: Not run
 D3D8 Test Result: Not run
 D3D9 Test Result: Not run

 ;D

Well, I haven't had any problems with Anim8or until this!  8)
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: Trevor on March 21, 2016, 03:18:19 pm
I was getting similar crashes in 98 with the topo tool, however it seemed to be fixed in later builds.

Unlike yourself however, it only happened after a while of editing.

If Im not mistaken, the error was c00000005 which is access violation.

Trev
Title: Re: Topo Tool
Post by: nemyax on March 30, 2016, 06:57:19 pm
I've made a three-part timelapse showing the topo knife in action:
The workflow is very dependable indeed. Only once did I have a small mirroring issue, which was corrected by rebuilding the mirror.
Some things are still sorely missed (mainly edge sliding, relaxing and effortless axis-aligned transforms) when you do this kind of work, but they have nothing to do with the topo knife and can be discussed elsewhere.
I wanted to show the raw process rather than a series of mesh states, so my apologies if the videos seem too long.