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Author Topic: A request for some FP stuff  (Read 873 times)

cpember

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A request for some FP stuff
« on: December 07, 2016, 08:05:08 PM »
hallo :)

I have a couple of requests for FP if possible, that would make life a lot easier, mostly in the effect editor:

1. A way to add more than one effect without having to hack copy/paste code in the original (for example: having a bend by object and lean out at the same time) I'm guessing a node based editor would be pretty handy for this (maybe something based off helium or whatever)

2. remove the use of area include/excludes for certain effect and allow a different list solely for the effect. (for example, in the lean out code preset you can  only use include/exclude list objects.. this fails when you already have include/exclude areas just to create the FP areas.. they automatically affect the thing you were trying to do)
2a. I'll give an example of how this fails: I have a plane, with FP on it, I add an exclude area around a house. Now I want to mimic ground getting blown apart, so I have animated splines moving outwards in a circle with the lean out effect added. while that works fine, you get your expanding cleared area, the original exclude area also affects this. The result is no the original exclude area has the same lean out values attached to it. The reason I think it'd be nice to have a standalone effect only list for selecting things is it wont affect the original forest setup at all, it'll just change what you have in the list.

3. the ability to have the spline based effect have a z-axis falloff. I know we have the object based effector, but its based on pivot, nothing more, but it DOES allow for a z-height falloff as well as a distance around the pivot..but you can't have more than one :) Basically I'm trying to do a shockwave style effect and it has to show up as the object gets near ground.. With object mode it works, but its a radial pattern, with spline it also works, AND you get the shape you want for it (say a boomerang shape) BUT its either on or off pretty much, no vertical falloff.

4. multiple object affecting FPobject rotations at same time using a mesh object like the spline ones can (I'm sure its possible, but I tried a number of things and it seems to use the first objects pivot as a base no matter what. (for example I have a plane of grass, 2 spheres. I want to flatten the grass around spheres, so I clone the code, change the variable names so there's no duplicates, and it DOES work, but sphereB will apply its effect based of sphereA's pivot, not its own. I personally think we just need a multiselect list for the editor..

5. a way to add animated noise to things like wiggle amounts in some of the effects (unless there's a way to do it already ).. it would be a super cheap way to get wind on stuff without having to do crazy things like pre-animate objects and cache them then use maps to drive that..

6. easy ways to clone effects and the things they require between FP objects. For example, I have 30 FP objects for a shot right now, and i do the testing on one thing, now I have to spend a day putting it on the rest, punch in the values, etc and so on. (I know you can export a preset, but for some reason I cant use a negative number for a starting value for some of the things, plus it doesnt grab the objects that I used in the other effect)

7. easier way to clone things into area include/exclude between FP objects. I'd like to ad 20 spline excludes to 30 FP objects and have them set to exclude by default..(in fact keep whatever they were selected from the source FP object would be more awesome) like a copy paste option for areas.

8, a map node for effects. Basically instead of spline or object, a map could be used. that would be awesome as well :)

Again, for me its mostly quality of life things, but I'm sure they'd help a lot of folks..

cheers!

cp

I also have to say I'm VERY happy that we have these effect rollouts now, its come in VERY handy :)

cpember

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Re: A request for some FP stuff
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 10:42:40 PM »
also to add for the point #2

If the areas for effects could be a separate list, you could also use them on FP's that have been turned into custom edits as well.. (I just tried this to see if I could get around the include/exclude stuff, but the effects break completely and wont affect anything in the FP because they're ignoring the areas now)

cpember

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Re: A request for some FP stuff
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2016, 10:55:55 PM »
9. the ability to collapse a set of fp areas, as in end up with the same result you get when you switch to edit/place mode, but be allowed to add areas back after.. kind of collapsing the modifier stack on a really heavy model edit, so i just have the base mesh.

iToo

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Re: A request for some FP stuff
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 11:25:08 AM »
Hi, many thanks for your suggestions:

1. A way to add more than one effect without having to hack copy/paste code in the original (for example: having a bend by object and lean out at the same time)

This is in our roadmap. In fact we wanted to include it for the initial release, but was not possible due to lack of time.

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I'm guessing a node based editor would be pretty handy for this (maybe something based off helium or whatever)

This possibility was evaluated on the initial design, but discarded by two reasons:

a) It's much more complex and requires a lot of developing time, that we prefer to use for other features.
b) Unlike that RailClone (which incldes a node editor), most of Effects are based of mathematical expressions. So at end, we would get an editor full of mathematical nodes... not really useful i guess. Although expressions may scare at start, are more suited for this task.

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2. remove the use of area include/excludes for certain effect and allow a different list solely for the effect. (for example, in the lean out code preset you can  only use include/exclude list objects.. this fails when you already have include/exclude areas just to create the FP areas.. they automatically affect the thing you were trying to do)

Actually Lean Out effect uses distance to area spline, which is already computed at the scattering stage, using an optimized algorithm. It's pretty fast to use this value and evaluate the expression at real time.
Instead, using a different spline requires to compute distance for each item, just for the effect. Probably it would result in a lagged effect.

Added to the wishlist. I will think how can be done without affecting performance too much...

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3. the ability to have the spline based effect have a z-axis falloff. I know we have the object based effector, but its based on pivot, nothing more, but it DOES allow for a z-height falloff as well as a distance around the pivot..but you can't have more than one :)

Main problem with this is performance as well, computing distance to a 3D object is veeery slow.
Anyway i think it could be done using a VRayDistance map combined with Effects. Although maps are not supported directly (yet), they can be used indirectly. The effect for Displaced surface works in this way.

I note it for a future tip/tutorial.

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4. multiple object affecting FPobject rotations at same time using a mesh object like the spline ones can (I'm sure its possible, but I tried a number of things and it seems to use the first objects pivot as a base no matter what. (for example I have a plane of grass, 2 spheres. I want to flatten the grass around spheres, so I clone the code, change the variable names so there's no duplicates, and it DOES work, but sphereB will apply its effect based of sphereA's pivot, not its own. I personally think we just need a multiselect list for the editor..

Agreed. We are aware of this limitation and want to fix for next updates.

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5. a way to add animated noise to things like wiggle amounts in some of the effects (unless there's a way to do it already ).. it would be a super cheap way to get wind on stuff without having to do crazy things like pre-animate objects and cache them then use maps to drive that..

I'm afraid we cannot modify the geometry of an item individually. All items are instances of a limited set of animation samples, and these samples are precalculated and stored in a cache (shared for all FP objects).
Basically this is a limitation of the way that render engines handle instanced items.

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6. easy ways to clone effects and the things they require between FP objects. For example, I have 30 FP objects for a shot right now, and i do the testing on one thing, now I have to spend a day putting it on the rest, punch in the values, etc and so on. (I know you can export a preset, but for some reason I cant use a negative number for a starting value for some of the things, plus it doesnt grab the objects that I used in the other effect)

Ok. Added to the wishlist.

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7. easier way to clone things into area include/exclude between FP objects. I'd like to ad 20 spline excludes to 30 FP objects and have them set to exclude by default..(in fact keep whatever they were selected from the source FP object would be more awesome) like a copy paste option for areas.

Ok.

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8, a map node for effects. Basically instead of spline or object, a map could be used. that would be awesome as well :)

It's already in our roadmap. We like to support maps, curves, etc.

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9. the ability to collapse a set of fp areas, as in end up with the same result you get when you switch to edit/place mode, but be allowed to add areas back after.. kind of collapsing the modifier stack on a really heavy model edit, so i just have the base mesh.

I see a lot of limitations for that. For example if several areas use different splines, they could not be merged. Areas of different type cannot be combined either...

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If the areas for effects could be a separate list, you could also use them on FP's that have been turned into custom edits as well.. (I just tried this to see if I could get around the include/exclude stuff, but the effects break completely and wont affect anything in the FP because they're ignoring the areas now)

That's correct. Once that items are converted to Custom Edit, information about areas is lost. That has sense because item would be moved for its original position.

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I also have to say I'm VERY happy that we have these effect rollouts now, its come in VERY handy :)

I'm glad to read this :). I know actually there are some limitations with Effects (it's first version !). I hope we include much more possibilities for next updates.

Regards,

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

cpember

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Re: A request for some FP stuff
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 05:48:38 PM »
excellent, thank you for your answers :)

cheers!

cp

cpember

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Re: A request for some FP stuff
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2016, 02:32:43 AM »
actually, thinking about it more, I dont think I explained it well enough.

 What I mean is, say you work on a FP setup, you have it exactly the way that you want it. You can go into edit mode, instead of generate mode, and that gets rid of all the splines/include/exclude areas, paints etc and so on. What I'd like is a way to keep this "collapsed" version of the FP, but have the ability to switch back to generate mode and just keep this collapsed forest pack.. I mean, really, if you use forest tools to export the xml files, couldnt that also re-import and be used for a  generate area "base" and allow you to start using splines again? (this is purely for the effect stuff that uses the splines for area checks )


hope this clarifies what I meant :)

cheers!

cp

    9. the ability to collapse a set of fp areas, as in end up with the same result you get when you switch to edit/place mode, but be allowed to add areas back after.. kind of collapsing the modifier stack on a really heavy model edit, so i just have the base mesh.


I see a lot of limitations for that. For example if several areas use different splines, they could not be merged. Areas of different type cannot be combined either...