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tools you wish you had

polycounter lvl 14
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arshlevon polycounter lvl 14
resently a programmer at work wanted to develop either plugins or stand alone apps for 3d artists to make life easier. i have a few ideas but i thought i would ask for more input from artists. so is there any part of your job 2d ir 3d you feel is not easy enough or just a complete pain in the ass. do you ever find youself saying "THERE GOTS TO BE A BETTER WAY!!" poop thought of an auto rigger for bipeds, and i think thats a pretty cool idea, but i would also like to hear more.

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  • ElysiumGX
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    ElysiumGX polycounter lvl 16
    an auto rigger for non-bipeds.
  • rooster
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    rooster mod
    [ QUOTE ]
    resently a programmer at work wanted to develop either plugins or stand alone apps for 3d artists to make life easier

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I just can't get my head around that situation.. please send him to us!


    pretty please?
  • Daz
    This is perhaps a little ambitious a project, but it still blows me away that there isn't a really damn good 3D paint package out there. Bodypaint is OK, but it has its quirkiness and so are a couple of other things, but they're really not what I call very good. I'm talking about literally painting on a 3D model with Photoshop like tools, precision and fidelity. Not the current state of affairs which is more like using a 3D paint package to block out forms but then having to finesse everything in Photoshop.
  • sonic
    for all the artsy web design douches who can't come up with their own design, there should be a program that automatically generates some random abstract 3d thing so that i don't have to see tutorials everywhere to do it in max or bryce!
  • notman
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    notman polycounter lvl 16
    An exporter from Max to .dif files for the Torque engine wink.gif

    But I'm sure that's not the type of help you're refering to.
  • flaagan
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    flaagan polycounter lvl 16
    How about an exporter for max's obj that gets rid of history and all that junk, so the geniuses that keep putting sdk's up from max dont make me have to go through maya to get an obj that works in xsi. tongue.gif
  • Wells
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    Wells polycounter lvl 16
    I want a button that will set up various lighting set-ups. nice 3-point setup centered where you click, circumfrance determined by how far you drag. I'm too lazy to merge in a pre-made scene.
  • Neo_God
    A history feature similar to Photoshop would be nice.
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    Seconded Daz's call for a good 3D paint thing.
    Ideally there'd be a program which was a master of all trades and fully customisable, incorporating modelling, uv-mapping, texture painting (and procedurals), animation and rendering. All at top pro quality. smile.gif
  • Slum
    artbuttonbs1.jpg

    Or, if that is too much, I have another idea. Some kind of plugin for Max that allows you to chop your UV and texture simultaneously. For example: You model something out, UV it, and start texturing. You realize that you could move something over in order to better fit another thing, but you've already got the UV map laid out, and your texture half painted.

    Normally you'd have to move your UV's, render out your template (texporter, or in max) then go into photoshop and move your textured bits over to the new space.

    I'd really like something that would just allow you to lasso-tool within the Max UV editor (or something similar), and move your texture along with the corresponding uv's at the same time.

    Of course, it sounds like it'd be completely impossible... But hey, I can dream smile.gif
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    Oh, if he wants to do something app-specific, hows about incorporating UV editing as a sub-element of Editable Poly in 3dsmax... like Maya does... no need for a silly modifier, just edit UV verts/edges etc from the EPoly itself.
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 16
    slum, I think someone in this forum already mentioned a work around: copy uvs to another channel, then move, then bake using the old channel + texture as source... unfortunately that of course wouldnt preserve any texture layer stuff...
  • Joao Sapiro
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    Joao Sapiro polycounter
    beeing able to scale bipeds in figure and non figure mode by selecting the whole shabang and the model without having to re rig and the bones get all fooked up.

    i second the realtime texture painting using photoshop like interface.

    cant remember anything more..hm...
  • Husch
    I would like to have a free terrain editor which can use and produce heightmaps but also has a paint deformation feature like Zbrush, moving Vertices around with a transformation gizmo and smouth selection, local subdivision of selected polygons for more details, setting hard edges (smoothing groups), turning the terrain into an editable mesh for importing new meshes (like rocks or cave entries) and weld them into the terrain, import and export of several 3d formats and of course uv and texturing with several layers of textures with vertex or alpha blending.
  • b1ll
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    b1ll polycounter lvl 16
    I remember a while ago, a friend of a coworker had made a small seams fixing maxscript, U would just find where u want to fix the seams on ur mesh, do a render of the area, paint over it on ps, then with that max script change that thing to ur flat texture save as tga, it was like deep paint, without external tools other then max and ps. Was great.

    ben
  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage
    hm, let's see, all very specific stuff:

    - a port of mirai's skeletal system to 3ds max. that's very similar (and probably the inspiration) to the motionbuilder ik but you are not restricted to a biped but can freely create rigs of any shape and number of bones.
    also, mirai's motion retargeting/mixing and ability to record keyframe motion into mocap-files for export to other apps. screw that stinking biped.

    - a tool that exports flame tracker data into 3ds max. it's all ascii-files so how hard could it be?

    - a spacemouse plugin for zbrush
  • rooster
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    rooster mod
    I thought of one, something for max that resets all unused materials in a scene
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    rooster, i think there might already be a maxscript that does that, i seem to recall hearing about something similar... might be wrong though.
  • ElysiumGX
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    ElysiumGX polycounter lvl 16
    - an updated .3ds exporter for Max
    - an updated .obj exporter for Max

    that would make it much easier for me to work with sdk's, and the files people send me.

    - a standalone polygon reduction tool
    - a simple application for 3D sculpting

    Jogshy's Xnormal app solved most of my other frustrations.
  • Wells
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    Wells polycounter lvl 16
    I might be semi-retarded, but is there a way to change the default scene that loads when max starts up? if not, i would love to be able to.
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    Sectaurs: Set up the scene the way you want it to start by default, and save it as "maxstart.max" in the /scenes directory.
  • Wells
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    Wells polycounter lvl 16
    You're my hero, mop!
  • arshlevon
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    arshlevon polycounter lvl 14
    awesome lots of cool ideas. seems 3d paint is a big one. i have actually gave photoshop the boot completly and now do all my painting in bodypaint, must be crazy, but i actually like the way brushes feel more in bodypaint. and since i am suppose to be artistic translator for my programmer friend i can see myself just wanting to re-create bodypaint. for the max users out there, have you tried ghost painter from cebas?
    http://www.cebas.com/products/products.php?UD=&PID=5
    i have never tried it cause i am not a big fan of photoshop but it is suppose to give you access to photoshops tools inside max. dont know how good it is though.
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 15
    how about a library system like macromedia flash?
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    I will second what Ely said, an updated .obj importer for max would rock, XSI updated theirs in version 5 and it can take an .obj that would typically make 3dsmax shit itself and bring it into XSI in like 10-30 seconds. Max just needs a new one smile.gif
  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage
    the thing with 3D paint is that it needs layers - that can be collapsed down onto the geo. it also needs a decent array of paint tools that feel natural (!!!!!111one!eins!!), ability to interactively resize and adjust every aspect of the brush, layer blending modes and unproblematic projection paint, imho.
    another nice thing: to be able to draw a spline on a layer above the geo and snap the paintbrush to that spline. or bake the spline down onto the texture. accuracy and 3d paint seem not to fit together well so far.
    being able to paint on more than one layer at the same time is handy, too, possibly with realtime preview like modo's - but non-sucking paint tools. smile.gif

    seeing how crappy most 3d painters are, i can only guess that it is a herculean task to pull all this off and do it right. smile.gif nothing that i tested except studiopaint has even come close. however i stopped taking a look at BP3D at rev 2.0 but back then it was totally inferior.
  • poopinmymouth
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    poopinmymouth polycounter lvl 16
    Ghost painter sucks balls. You have to have the whole image viewable at all times, and the stroke doesn't appear on the object when painting in 3d, until you finish the stroke.

    I personally use Bodypaint 2.5 like Arsh (he's the one that turned me on to it). It uses PSD's, has layers, all blending modes, crazy brush system, etc. There is nothing other than layer effects missing from BP to Pshop. I think bodypaint is the win as far as 3d painters go, and it would take a lot of work to better it, especially with one artist and one programmer. I'm pretty sure they are a large company. And their artist talked with me at GDC and version 3.0 has some really awesome features and is due out soon.

    I'll be releasing my BP 2.5 video tutorial soon when I can get it edited, and hopefully that will show how easy it is to use.

    poop.gif
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    If Bodypaint was modernised (interface feels like windows 95 stuff to me) and made to be totally customisable (interface and keyboard shortcuts etc) like, say, Silo... and like ThomasP said, if it had some nicer "feeling" tools (I don't like the way the brush feels, it's just different enough from photoshop to feel wrong) and some methods for really accurate painting, it'd be great.

    I think part of the problem with bodypaint is, it's just one facet of an entire program, and as such it's bogged down with a load of functions you'll never use. Something built from the ground up would be much nicer, IMHO.
  • Keg
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    Keg polycounter lvl 12
    for the auto rigging I'd suggest looking at XSI's solution. you load up a control rig of sorts which is a bunch of nodes for each joint. you essentially move those nodes around and into position on your mesh and then tell XSI to create the rig based off that control rig. There's a quadraped solution also available within XSI.

    Bodypaint has been a nice solution for 3d painting, though one thing i'd love to see is a constant projection painting mode. ie being able to rotate the mesh while in project painting mode.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage
    there is a maxscript out there - i think it's even called autorig - that does exactly what keg just described - for bipeds and quadrapeds.

    the rigs offer nice control however you'd need a second, constrained skeleton for skinning and export to an engine because the animation rig itself is rather heavy with lot's of extra control objects. 120+ bones for a biped if i recall right.
  • Keg
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    Keg polycounter lvl 12
    XSI's you can choose a set of rigs to build from including a game rig
  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage
    yes, but it's probably hardcoded behaviour like with CS's biped bones? i think the old softimage had something like that, too.
  • arshlevon
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    arshlevon polycounter lvl 14
    by rig i meant "skin" not actually creating the bones and controls.
  • ElysiumGX
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    ElysiumGX polycounter lvl 16
    [ QUOTE ]
    by rig i meant "skin"

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah, does that too, with only small corrections to weighting needed afterwards. But let's not talk about XSI so much in this thread plz. People tend to get upset.
  • beaker
    i wish i had zbrush
  • Eric Chadwick
    [ QUOTE ]
    If Bodypaint was modernised (interface feels like windows 95 stuff to me) and made to be totally customisable (interface and keyboard shortcuts etc)

    [/ QUOTE ] Hotkeys _are_ customizable... go to Window > Layout > Command Manager. And the windows are very customizable, worth some time with the docs to learn their quirky (but eventually cool) window controls.
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    Eric: That's the thing ... why does it have to be quirky then eventually cool? Why can't it be cool straight away? smile.gif
  • Eric Chadwick
    I hear ya. Though as soon as I understood what it could do, it became cool.
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