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Author Topic: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03  (Read 4229 times)

Asplan Viak

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Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« on: May 25, 2013, 05:08:39 PM »
All in all I must say I'm pretty happy with the new RC, but there are a few issues that are either not working properly, or I obviously cant grasp.

  • The style editor desperately needs to be able to copy\paste between RC objects, and to be saved as presets.
  • Style editor needs to behave like the rest of max (and windows) in regards to right-click-canceling, resetting spinners by right clicking, and having the option to minimise the window, and not having it sit on top of any other open window in windows (trying to read something on the net while the style editor is open and covering it).
  • Is there a reason the style editor is not using the slate material editors interface (with all it's functionality)? Was there some issues preventing it from being used?
  • I often sit at home working as my own computer is a lot faster than my workstation at work. I use Cisco's AnyConnect to establish a VPN connection, and retrieve all my licenses through it (Max & VRay). This works flawlessly, but RC (running as floating license also), often suddenly tells me it can't find a license after using it for x amount of time, and subsequently either crashes Max, or makes Max hang indefinitely. This is a real show stopper
  • Some times I notice that editing geometry that is already used in my RC objects, doesn't update properly. I can select vertices on one of my parts, move them, and the viewport only shows the vertices being moved, but the faces stay where they were. I then have to manually reload the parts in the RC editor, or sometimes even do a reset-xform on the part in question.
  • The compose node is very confusing. I often want to assemble my parts from its sub parts to maximise the amount of reused geometry, but the compose node seems to think that all objects have to be beside each other, and not intersecting or otherwise following their pivot placements (think of assembling a window set with variations of curtains and blinds for each window. I tried adjusting the padding and fixed placement of the segments feeding into the compose node, but can not get this to work. I have to manually create copies of each window with the varied details attached into the object, resulting in huge amounts of extra geometry, or resulting in me making something not as "fancy" as I would like. Could we maybe get it to let us position objects as if they were a group, and let that group have its own padding parameters so the segments can be reused regardless?
  • In general, I am having a hard time getting the Array2s to do what I want it to, and get strange spacings on my parts where there should be none. Maybe some more lib presets made like templates so one can modify the existing temp parts and use ones own?
  • Random transformations break segments apart. It would be useful if one could randomly "jitter" segments while still keeping the mesh-continuity to make thinks a little more "rough" (I.e a large curtain wall of glass and steel, where each glass pane is ever so slightly rotated to break up the otherwise mathematically perfect reflections.
  • Make RC read map types like Bercon gradient (for it's random function), and multitex map, or even make your own that does the same, so we can have randomised maps is a more streamlined manner. Making material-clones and using mat-id functionality is quite cumbersome compared to these 2 mentioned.

Hopefully some of these issues are fixable\doable. Please pardon me for listing things that might have been mentioned in other threads or topics.

Edit: This is the error message I keep getting from the Itoo license manager.
Caller ID: 8
Error code: 30
Error message: Client read operation timed out (no response from peer).
Subsystem: 0
Subsystem name: No sub system.
Subsystem error: 0


CME
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 05:20:03 PM by Asplan Viak »

iToo

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 08:43:59 PM »

All in all I must say I'm pretty happy with the new RC, but there are a few issues that are either not working properly, or I obviously cant grasp.
Hello, thanks for using our software and for your suggestions.

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The style editor desperately needs to be able to copy\paste between RC objects, and to be saved as presets.
Agreed. Both features are already in the wishlist.

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Style editor needs to behave like the rest of max (and windows) in regards to right-click-canceling, resetting spinners by right clicking, and having the option to minimise the window, and not having it sit on top of any other open window in windows (trying to read something on the net while the style editor is open and covering it).
The style editor runs a separate application from Max, and unfortunately this is the only way to keep it stayed on top of the Max window. If not, some operations will not work properly (as picking objects).

About the spinners, we had to implement manually the Max behaviour, but most of features should work in a similar way, including resetting by right clicking. What parameter exactly doesn't reset ? We will check it.

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Is there a reason the style editor is not using the slate material editors interface (with all it's functionality)? Was there some issues preventing it from being used?
Yes, there is a good reason: the slate manager is for internal use only, the interface is not published for third party plugins. Therefore, each plugin developer must write its own node manager. Probably Autodesk will make the slate manager public at some time, but only for new Max releases, not for previous versions.

Initialy, we tried to link our style editor with Max, but we found critical problems because incompatibilities with the libraries we use. Basically, Max uses the same libraries, but different versions for each Max release. A real pain... because this, we implemented the editor in its current way.

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I often sit at home working as my own computer is a lot faster than my workstation at work. I use Cisco's AnyConnect to establish a VPN connection, and retrieve all my licenses through it (Max & VRay). This works flawlessly, but RC (running as floating license also), often suddenly tells me it can't find a license after using it for x amount of time, and subsequently either crashes Max, or makes Max hang indefinitely. This is a real show stopper
It's strange because this error seems related with the style editor link, not with the license. Does it fail only when the style editor is open ?

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Some times I notice that editing geometry that is already used in my RC objects, doesn't update properly.
This would happen with some specific operations, specially converting the geometry to editable mesh/poly. The reason is that Max creates internally a new object, breaking the existing references. This is a Max limitation, for example the Boolean compound object has the same problem (when using instanced references).

As you pointed out, the workaround is clicking the "Reload Segments" button in the style editor.

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The compose node is very confusing. I often want to assemble my parts from its sub parts to maximise the amount of reused geometry, but the compose node seems to think that all objects have to be beside each other
Well, really the Compose operator was designed to work in this way. Instead modifying it, i think would be better to provide suports for groups in Segments. We will think on it.

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In general, I am having a hard time getting the Array2s to do what I want it to, and get strange spacings on my parts where there should be none. Maybe some more lib presets made like templates so one can modify the existing temp parts and use ones own?
Did you get the spacing in the X or Y axis ? This may happen when using segments with different Y sizes in a same row. RailClone adjusts the Y size of the row to the largest segment (on Y). Please, post a screenshot or scene to see what is the problem exactly.

On the other side, we are working hard to offer additional RailClone tutorials, to explain this and other features. We will also publish many tips and tricks in the RailClone blog

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Random transformations break segments apart. It would be useful if one could randomly "jitter" segments while still keeping the mesh-continuity to make thinks a little more "rough" (I.e a large curtain wall of glass and steel, where each glass pane is ever so slightly rotated to break up the otherwise mathematically perfect reflections.
Please post a screenshot or scene. It should work fine now... also be sure that "Segment->Random Transform->Transform affects Size" is on.

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Make RC read map types like Bercon gradient (for it's random function), and multitex map, or even make your own that does the same, so we can have randomised maps is a more streamlined manner. Making material-clones and using mat-id functionality is quite cumbersome compared to these 2 mentioned.
I should make some tests about it. I will post later.

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Paul Roberts

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 01:34:25 PM »
Hi,

In reference to the last point, randomising materials. I have had some success in using Bercon Gradient and VizPark's Crossmap to add randomisation. They're both pretty straightforward to set up and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Using Bercon Gradient and MultTexture.
This works pretty well provided you want all the segments in a RailClone object to have randomised materials. It's less successful if you need to add variety to only a a single segment in a multi-part object. The basic procedure is as follows:
  • Create a style with a new segment to take the randomised texture.
  • Wire the segment to a material node and set it to randomise. The Range chosen will determine the number of variations.
  • Create a new material using Bercon Gradient and make sure the Random value is set to Material ID

Crossmap
Alternatively you can use VizPark's Crossmap quite successfully with RailClone. This is very easy to use.
  • Use Material IDs and create a multi/sub object material for each segment as normal
  • Then use the CrossMap plugin for the material you wish to randomise ensuring you set the "Image Distribution" settings to to V-Ray Proxies
  • This seems to work for Mental Ray too.

I haven't tested it, but I suspect VizPark's Colour Extract will work too.

I've attached a very simple scene and pdf to illustrate these two approaches.

Hope that helps  :)

Thanks,

Paul
Paul Roberts
iToo Software

Asplan Viak

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 03:22:38 PM »
Paul:
Thanks for the feedback.
The procedures you describe are fine if you use single "non-compounded" segments with separate materials, but I have never ever been able to do this.
If RC gets Group-support, then this will be viable. For now all materials are already MultiSubMats, so it won't work as far as I can see. I should probably point out that I don't have Crossmap. I thought I would get it for free since I was a Brix customer (right before they closed shop), but I never got any answers back from him. The other guy from the Brix team gave me a license of his own new plugin called Mighty tile, but development seems rather dead as of late.

Itoo:

Nice update with the copy and paste, though I haven't gotten around to testing it yet.

The issue I posted with the error was most likely when I had the style editor open, yes, but after updating,  I actually haven't encountered it yet, so that is possibly a good sign.

Regarding the compose node, I really hope you ad support for groups, as this would solve a whole lot of other problems in one go, specifically the issue of wanting to add light to ones cloned segments. That being said; reading your explanation of the compose node, does this not do exactly what the sequence node does, just lacking the extra controls?

I would also like to know your thoughts on "best practice" for controlling mapping coordinates on RC objects. So far, I can only get the tiled mapping from the base segment, so if I'm cutting my models up into thin slices as it seems you guys like to do (judging from your presets and examples, textures look pretty bad.
With group support, we can hopefully add a uv modifier onto several objects and get them to retain the mapping on the built model. Have you guys considered adding a uv node to let us add mapping inside the style editor onto a compose or sequence node? With an option to randomly flip, rotate 90 cw & ccw etc.?

Asplan Viak

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 03:30:33 PM »
There is one thing I have been wondering about. The 2d array......could one in the future control it with 4 splines, so the resulting model can deform like a bezier patch, and even support variable scaling (first and last "height" spline with different lengths)? This seems like a logical step forward, but I have no idea about what problems this poses.
There are a few scripts out there that let you do stuff like this by cloning objects along faces, resulting in this type of quadruple-curved array with variable heights, so this could be possible within those same constraints the scripts have (deformed segments\parts).

iToo

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 06:04:40 PM »
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Regarding the compose node, I really hope you ad support for groups, as this would solve a whole lot of other problems in one go, specifically the issue of wanting to add light to ones cloned segments.
Unfortunately, although we add the support for groups, there are certain limitations to use non-geometrical objects (as lights). These objects are not instanciable in the render engines.

Quote
That being said; reading your explanation of the compose node, does this not do exactly what the sequence node does, just lacking the extra controls?
You are right: used in the "Default" slot, both operatores work very similar. Instead, there is a great difference used as Corner or Evenly. The Compose operator always arranges all the single Segments, while Sequence applies only one. Basically the Compose operator was designed to build complex pieces at Corners/Evenly.

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I would also like to know your thoughts on "best practice" for controlling mapping coordinates on RC objects. So far, I can only get the tiled mapping from the base segment, so if I'm cutting my models up into thin slices as it seems you guys like to do (judging from your presets and examples, textures look pretty bad.
With group support, we can hopefully add a uv modifier onto several objects and get them to retain the mapping on the built model. Have you guys considered adding a uv node to let us add mapping inside the style editor onto a compose or sequence node? With an option to randomly flip, rotate 90 cw & ccw etc.?
This feature already exists as Segment->Deform->UV Mapping. It lets you to apply a continuous mapping along the full RC object. You can find a howto guide here.

In the next days we will release an new RailClone tutorial, exposing this and other advanced features.

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

iToo

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 09:27:38 AM »
Quote
There is one thing I have been wondering about. The 2d array......could one in the future control it with 4 splines]

Yes, we have plans to include other types of Generators, probably supporting 4 splines. Anyway, this will take some time, since Generators are the most complex part of RailClone.

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Asplan Viak

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 01:17:19 PM »
Great replies here guys. You seem to have the whole "support and feedback" thing down  ;D

Please feel free to ignore my question regarding uvs......another one of my brain farts.

I'm sorry to hear this regarding lights, but could you maybe use some other type of object so we could manually run the clone and align function to get our lights aligned?
Have you guys discussed this with the Chaos guys (I only care about vray for rendering as you can see  ;) )? I'm curious if maybe they could cooperate with you guys to make this work, as it is pretty essential to get the lights distributed on larger models.

iToo

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 01:48:42 PM »
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I'm sorry to hear this regarding lights, but could you maybe use some other type of object so we could manually run the clone and align function to get our lights aligned?
Have you guys discussed this with the Chaos guys (I only care about vray for rendering as you can see  ;) )? I'm curious if maybe they could cooperate with you guys to make this work, as it is pretty essential to get the lights distributed on larger models.

We have a couple of ideas that would work. As instance, using RailClone Tools to instanciate the lights. This requires a small modification in the plugin, because currently it's not possible to use a non-gometric object as Segment, but hopefully it will be added for the next update.

When possible, we prefer to offer solutions that work both in VRay and Mental Ray. We have plans to include additional render engines as well, in the same line as Forest.
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Paul Roberts

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2013, 02:06:13 PM »
Could you maybe use some other type of object so we could manually run the clone and align function to get our lights aligned?

To a certain extent this is possible now by instanciating the RailClone geometry using Railclone Tools then using Clone and Align as you describe to create lights on the appropriate segments . There's more information about RailClone Tools here - http://www.itoosoft.com/railclone/reference/tools.php . This is the technique I've been using until now but obviously it'll much easier when it's supported natively.

Thanks,

Paul
Paul Roberts
iToo Software

Asplan Viak

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Re: Some grievances with RC Pro v2.03
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2013, 02:34:51 PM »
Yes. this is what I have had to do for now as well. I really want it to be "dynamic/parametric" though to get the most out of the otherwise fantastic plugin.