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Author Topic: Problem with embedded linear array to 2s array and maaaaanyy ideas for the futur  (Read 699 times)

NP2889

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Dear Reailclone Team

at first, i have to say just this....     it makes fun to use your software..  and your support on this forum is friendly, fast, engaged and just more than proffessional.  Well you give the feeling, that you like your job..   (hope so...    ;)  ).

Ok

I and my architectural Company have bought forrest pack a while ago and now use it now each week and love its possibilities...   With Railclone we startet halve a year ago, but stopped digging deeper in it for a while, because we hadn t much time to learn and also we found the Problem that rendering immages out, using psd-manger, didnt present us antialiased masks..  This Problem by the way and with your suggestions has been solved very good.

And now we got some time to start learning.

So now i have some questions , suggestions for further releases maybe, ideas, that maybe have been asked before ore answerd. Ore can be solved with workarounds..  but maybe you just take a look and i am sure you are allready working on some of theese ideas.. 

So my first Problem , idea:

1. We often have to render big buildings from outside and search for a way to fast construct ceilings in the rooms to bee seen from outside . You allready have shown your tutorial with forrestpack to put in differing things for the interior.  But for the ceilings in the rooms i wanted to create a fast easy style to do this..   i have atatched 4 jpg´s to show what i mean , but wasnt able to post them to the text here.. maybe you can post them for me, so others can see too what i mean..   ?

Now to put in a linear light that always starts a specified lengt from the walls , i wired in a linear array  using a lamp for the start, a lamp for the end, some lamps positioned with x evenly and an element for the inbetweens wired to  Default  This works fine so far expect of two things. I want to read out the X witdh of the 2s array and combined with an arithmetic operator substract the right and left side of the 2s array ore alternating if putting my 1s lamp array to the y evenly slot, the top row and bottom row of the array.

How can i get this parameter from the 2s aray to feed it automatically in to my 1s array.. 

i know the limitation, that my 1s array looses its instancing.

And also much more ideas that could be implemented in the future are on my images.. 

So what do you think, and is there a way to solve my special lamps into ceiling  problem ?

Many Thanks,

Tom
« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 03:33:31 PM by NP2889 »

NP2889

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Oh i just looked at my jpg´s...

well my suggestion of course was ment as a  "Group" Object.. not an "operator", just for importing Groups as they are..  and yes i know this seems to be an issue with the way rc handles materials in comparison to forrest pack.. 

but still as others i think this should be high on the to do list for future releases.. 

 :)

Paul Roberts

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Hi Tom,

Thanks for the kind words and the useful feedback, I'm really glad you're enjoying our software. I've tried to break down your questions and requests as follows:

Using a RC objects as a segment in a second RC object
This is something we'd really like to add to RailClone. At the moment as you know you can nest one RailClone object inside another, but there's not a way for them to share parameters. We're investigating the possibility of wiring a generator's output to another generators input as shown in your mock ups, but this will require some substantial changes to the plugin. In the meantime I've attached a file called ceiling.max that may achieve some of what you are trying to achieve in the ceiling style using a single A2S generator. There are two versions, one uses Sequence operators to add the lights to the Y Evenly rows, the second more complex example uses expressions to add lights to the X Evenly rows. There will be a windows tutorial released next week that covers many of the techniques used in the this file, but feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

You might also be interested in our ceiling tutorial which covers using the Sequence operators to create a suspended ceiling.

Generator Switcher setup

If you want to switch between different generators you can do this by exporting a generator's  On/Off property and wiring it to a Numeric node so it can be controlled from the Modify panel. Using an expression with an if Function you can selectively turn generators on and off when the exported number equals a specified value. The set up for this is shown below where the constant value is the number that the numeric node needs to match to turn the generator on.




I've attached the sample file selectingGenerators.max to illustrate the approach.

Distributing Lights and other non geometric objects
Unfortunately due to a limitation of the max SDK, RailClone can only generate geometry. We're looking into workarounds but there's not a simple solution. In the meantime one possibility might be to convert a RailClone object to instances using RailClone Tools and then use Max's Clone and Align tool (or another script) to place lights using the instances as a reference. You might also be able to create a script that places the lights on face centres of a given material ID, but I haven't noticed one yet that's publicly available.

Scale between two surfaces
Thanks for the suggestion, we have many ideas for new generators and I'll add this to the wishlist. To a certain extent it's already possible to cheat this effect using the same technique as illustrated in our Bridges tutorial and also as seen in this forum post.  Both these examples show scaling between splines but attached is a file called scale_between_surfaces.max that shows how this can be done between a spline and a surface, and between 2 surfaces.



Grouping nodes with ability to minimise and maximise the group for clarity
This is a good idea, in fact it's already on our roadmap for a future release :)

Support grouped objects
We're looking into this too :)

Element Mode
Though there isn't a tree editor mode we do include RailClone tools that allows you to convert an object to instances that can then be manipulated individually. I'll talk to our development team about an elements mode but due to the way in which RC manipulates meshes it may be technically very difficult.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if I've missed anything or if something is not clear.

All the best,

Paul
« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 06:31:21 PM by Paul Roberts »
Paul Roberts
iToo Software

Paul Roberts

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Just to add, we're also looking into how RailClone handles materials and evaluating whether to use the same method in RailClone as Forest (which create a multi-sub material on the fly).

Thanks!

Paul
Paul Roberts
iToo Software

NP2889

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Hallo Paul Roberts.
This makes fun.. Thanks again for your fast reply..  ill look in the atached styles soon.

befor this on further Question.  in your example you show a 1s array that gets driven by two surfaces in its length.

ahead of this i think of your 2s array, together with the clipping area that also can use a surface to get its z position, steped or not to for example produce a 3d structure as often used in architectural buildings.

Usualy this is combined with a changing hight of the structure to reflect the forces that change inside the building.

Now would it be possible also in a 2s array to drive the hight and the bottom with two surfaces ?


one other thing also. Would it realy be that difficult to read out a selected element of an array and fill the gap with a unvisible element (like in other examples using padding) and copy to the gap a this same element for further finetuning ? 

I get back to this point because in our practical work with a very big architectural company in germany, we very often see buildings, that nearly can be produced proceduraly using Railclone. But at very difficult points , the aproach breaks away because  we are not allready good enough in using this software, ore because the procedural aproach gets so difficult for example using exprressions that creating it  by hand becomes faster, than building it proceduraly.

at this point sometimes the desision of which tool to use would flip to old methods, because the architects wouldnt accept a nearly correct solution, but only exaktly what they have designed and this often is something in between of procedural , repetitiv and freestyle.

an option to build up everything fast and elegant using a procedural aproach and finetuning the problematic special areas would make the usability of this software so much wider...   

ive seen also a colleque trying to put a edit poly on top of the railclone array. he only wanted to delete some special single elements which worked in the viewport but not when rendering..    so i also could imagine a rc-edit poly modifier on top which does all the above, but is undoable..

i think this litle option would boost up the usability of the tool for many more rather difficult and not perfect situations... 

well

thanks again..

Tom

Paul Roberts

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Hi Tom,

regarding this question "Now would it be possible also in a 2s array to drive the hight and the bottom with two surfaces ? "

If you have an example image of what you'd like to achieve, it'll help me to understand what can already be done in RailClone and what we may need to improve. Thanks also for the additional suggestions, they're added to our wishlist too for further discussion.

Cheers!

Paul
Paul Roberts
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NP2889

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Hallo Paul,

Well here´s a very rough approximation of what i mean.. in this case i have copied only one element without RC and put the hundered Segments into one FFD Box.  as you can see  i moved the FFD Box points to show such an effekt.

Unlike in RC, the bottom side of the overall structure gets deformt in a less strong way as the top.

in Real Architecture this often happens, when the strukture in the center of the Roof for example has to hold stronger forces but the edges..  and by the way, this gets much more elegant than only one skin with just one hight.. because it reflects the inner forces and is able to reduce the amount of used material responding to Physiks.

So i would like RC to be able to drive the upper points by ... for example a bezier patch and the bottom part by another one.. maybe blending the influence seperatley as you do for the single elements in your stairs tutorial ? 

Would be an equivalent thing to your aproach above with splines, but now with surfaces

Paul Roberts

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Hi Tom,

Thanks for the sample image, that helps to clarify what you'd like to achieve with RailClone. At present I can't see a way to create this effect using A2S arrays but we'll look at if this can be made possible in a future release.

Cheers!

Paul
Paul Roberts
iToo Software