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Realsoft Forum • View topic - Version 7 thread

Version 7 thread

Realsoft 3D Discussion forum moderated by Vesa Meskanen, Realsoft OY

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Postby guest » Tuesday 19. February 2008, 01:39

Perhaps another point :

The 'Material Browser' is great . It allows you to look at a project and see all the materials used in that project . If you see something you like you can access it by simply double clicking on it . However , this list of materials is a couple of versions old now , and could also stand an update . Again we only have to turn to the RS Community to see that there are tons of good materials available to be added to the default user startup .

VSL is one of the strong points of RS3D , but it's material library is sorely lagging behind and no where close to indicating what unique and interesting materials can be created with this S/W .
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Postby guest » Tuesday 19. February 2008, 02:08

Another point :

Every single material , project , object etc 's filename ends with ".R3D" . Chinese puzzle lovers will really dig this ambiguity , of course , however , for those that would like to be able to simply look at a filename and be able to tell whether or not it is a project file , or a VSL material might not the fact that they must start an instance of RS and load that file , in order to find out what it is .

This is a point that has been mentioned years ago but is still not being addressed . It would be a very simple matter to recatalogue the projects and materials and objects into a naming format such as

file.rsobj - for 3D objects
file.rsmat - for shaders
file.rsprj - for project files

Ideally , of course , we would want to be able to dbl click on , say , an .rsobj file , and have that 3D object load in a 3D OpengL viewer . Now it does actually load into an instance of RS , ready to view or render it , so that's certainly not bad . However , if we dbl click on , what we think might be a vsl shader , it will fire up an instance of RS with nothing showing in the view window , so we must assume it is not an object , or project , and then if we go to the materials tab , we will see that material listed there .

If it turns out to be a project file , then it will also load into an instance of RS , where one can view it in OpengL , or render it , or save the included 3D objects to a file for later use .

RS3D is actually a very elegant S/W , for the most part . That's why I am sticking with it . I love the interface . I love the fact that it is an open concept application . There are very few things left to bitch about when it comes to the basic interface . V6 is a huge leap forward , to catchup with what may have been slightly glossed over in previous versions .

However , the naming nomenclature is another example of something that really should be fixed (in my opinion) before we start to go forward(?) with advanced toolsets and functions . In my opinion , the true goal of a S/W such as RS3D , where most things are of a very high level of class , of interface smoothness and rendering quality , the ultimate goal is to make everything about the S/W on the same level of quality .

Some things are not there yet , simply because they have been overlooked in the scramble to continue to create a cutting edge application . Sometimes we have to take 1 step back before we take another few strides forward .
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Postby markheuy » Thursday 21. February 2008, 00:00

Just catching up on this thread... phew, a long read with some interesting points. OK, here's another wishlist, far from complete:

* Documentation: getting better, V6 is a big leap forward. I'm sure they are aware of the absurdity of advanced features that aren't documented. Vesa himself said that it has high priority, so I'm not completely desperate about it.

* Maybe it's my machine but editing is getting 'syrupy' too quickly. I don't just mean the graphics but editing the object hierarchy. It just chokes too quickly. I don't want to live with that until a V7 release, that might take years. So, it's either a new SP, new machine or other 3d software that'll have to fix this.
The point: just plain robust productivity and ability to handle reasonably large scenes without freezes, and a responsive GUI are top priority to me. I don't want to wait a few seconds whenever I do something, that adds up... disabling Undo helps but I don't want to lose it ;) (and yes, I'm aware of the File Instance)

* More complete import/export. The much-promising fbx support is far from complete as far as I've tested it. Nowhere near complete exchange between RS and other 3d software including textures and animation. There's this obscure 3ds plugin that's only available somewhere on this forum, where is it?? Typical!

* Character animation. Haven't tested V6 with this yet but it seems they didn't make much effort to improve this in V6. It's not their traditional niche, they seem to focus on features that RS has always been good at, like architecture (the Building feature). Hey, I want people walking around in those buildings without much fuss, is that too much to ask? ;)

* the code of the HDR plugin was lost, RS should take care of that themselves in the next SP! After all, they have been advertising RS's internal 64 bit engine since V4. I'd miss HDR when I go 64bit - which is incidentally needed to render complex old plants...

* it would be great if the simulation plugins Chrono and Dynatomics and the RS native sim system were integrated better. We can use Chrono objects as collision objects in DA but that's as much interactivity as there is as far as I know. Hm, I haven't even tried to install Chrono on V6, it's on the to-do-list...

* etc.. to be continued,

Mark H
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Postby Walter_l570 » Thursday 21. February 2008, 11:45

"I haven't even tried to install Chrono on V6," I tried, don't work :(
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Postby Timo » Thursday 21. February 2008, 12:17

markheuy wrote:* Documentation: getting better, V6 is a big leap forward. I'm sure they are aware of the absurdity of advanced features that aren't documented. Vesa himself said that it has high priority, so I'm not completely desperate about it.
I must admit I've run into this often, but I've never written down what I think is missing... will have to change my ways.
markheuy wrote:* the code of the HDR plugin was lost, RS should take care of that themselves in the next SP! After all, they have been advertising RS's internal 64 bit engine since V4. I'd miss HDR when I go 64bit - which is incidentally needed to render complex old plants...
OpenEXR wouldn't hurt either: it's possibly even more used than .hdr these days and way more versatile (it could basically replace .r3i).
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Postby markheuy » Thursday 21. February 2008, 22:04

Thanks for saving me that hassle Walter_l570.

Timo: I think for example the powertools Map2Obj and UVImage have always deserved more attention, and multi-pass rendering, animation, etc. If you look at the tuts of the recent Building tool, I'm impressed, very good: they are on the right track.

Now that I think of it, there's one bug that I'd like them to get rid of: displacement artifacts if the cam gets too close! (an old one: black edges)

Thanks for the tip about OpenEWR, I'll check it out. I also use HDR for displacement and bump mapping to avoid the 256 steps, it's not just for illumination..
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Postby Timo » Friday 22. February 2008, 11:51

markheuy wrote:I think for example the powertools Map2Obj and UVImage have always deserved more attention, and multi-pass rendering, animation, etc. If you look at the tuts of the recent Building tool, I'm impressed, very good: they are on the right track.
Map2Obj and UVImage could indeed use a good tutorial... I'll see if I can do something about that. UVImage tutorial should be quite easy and fun to make.

markheuy wrote:Now that I think of it, there's one bug that I'd like them to get rid of: displacement artifacts if the cam gets too close! (an old one: black edges)
I think the black edges are caused by the way RS does displacement. It looks like it does part of the displacement as real displacement and the finer detail with bumpmapping (I might be wrong though). This would explain the black edges: their normal is pointing away from the camera. Have you reported a bug on this?


markheuy wrote:Thanks for the tip about OpenEWR[sic], I'll check it out. I also use HDR for displacement and bump mapping to avoid the 256 steps, it's not just for illumination..
Good point. In any case, we need import/export for a widely supported HDR format (be it radiance or openexr) so we can use RS with other apps. Just saving a render in a HDR format makes postprocessing in a 2D app easier: color/brightness correction doesn't ruin the image, highlights bloom properly if you add blur to the image etc. I'm partial to OpenEXR, it has better support on the Linux side and it's simply better as an image format.
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Postby markheuy » Friday 22. February 2008, 21:46

I think the black edges are caused by the way RS does displacement. It looks like it does part of the displacement as real displacement and the finer detail with bumpmapping (I might be wrong though). This would explain the black edges: their normal is pointing away from the camera. Have you reported a bug on this?



Yeah, I posted an example picture that showed the bug to the list but that was a long time ago, maybe they forgot about it... I'll remind Vesa.
I first noticed this in some landscape renderings. It's as if there's something wrong with the surface normal.. fortunately it's not bad enough to make displacement useless but it can spoil an otherwise good picture. Should be fixed!
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Postby JuhaS » Thursday 6. March 2008, 17:01

Usable (and much faster) global illumination solution would be nice.
The current method of raytracing and post processing with a weighted
filter is kind of interesting and unique approach to this, but it's just
very hard, if not impossible, to get good results with it within
a reasonable time.

Currently it's only suitable for simple scenes, it just doesn't work
really well for more complex scenes with small details. I've tried for
example modifying the gi shader by adding more rays to occluded
areas and then using a smaller filter for those areas, but the result
is not good enough and hard to control.

There's also the issue of breaking anti-aliasing because the filtered
gi channel is composited over the raytraced image. The only anti-aliasing
comes from the fact that the image is rendered twice it's output size
and scaled down. Perhaps GI should be more coupled to the rendering
process using something like photon mapping and irradiance caching.
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Postby Timo » Friday 7. March 2008, 08:24

JuhaS wrote:Usable (and much faster) global illumination solution would be nice.
The current method of raytracing and post processing with a weighted
filter is kind of interesting and unique approach to this, but it's just
very hard, if not impossible, to get good results with it within
a reasonable time.

Currently it's only suitable for simple scenes, it just doesn't work
really well for more complex scenes with small details. I've tried for
example modifying the gi shader by adding more rays to occluded
areas and then using a smaller filter for those areas, but the result
is not good enough and hard to control.

There's also the issue of breaking anti-aliasing because the filtered
gi channel is composited over the raytraced image. The only anti-aliasing
comes from the fact that the image is rendered twice it's output size
and scaled down. Perhaps GI should be more coupled to the rendering
process using something like photon mapping and irradiance caching.
I wholeheartedly agree. GI and glossy reflections/refractions should be coupled with the render setting. Post processed GI removes the GI from the rendering equation, which makes stuff like real DOF and randomly sampled/stochastic motion blur impossible.

A final gather type solution (i.e. basically the current solution without post blur) coupled with optional photon mapping or irradiance caching is a de facto standard, proven usable and fast. It also makes GI caching in static scenes a breeze.

The post process AA problem is elegantly solved in Blender: they do the post processing per sample, then 'create' the pixels.
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Postby guest » Friday 7. March 2008, 19:03

Photon Mapping would be wild , of course , but to stick with my original point , let's forget about photon mapping for V7 and take a few steps back and concentrate on fixing the UV-Image mapping bugs , so that we can experiment with Realtime , OpenGL rendering and the new RSViewer .

I know most here could care less about the new viewer , but still , there are many , many unusable areas in the illumination mapping (automatic Texture Baking) parts of RSV6 , so let's go back and fix them instead of plowing forward .

I can understand about neglecting the built-in 'Physics Engine' since plugins are on the way , but still , is this going to be the constant trend ? Build new powerful tools that don't work properly ? Perhaps the problem is that these tools have never really been pushed very hard during the beta stages of their development . I hope that's it , and that's it not just a matter of not giving a damn about past released toolsets .

Time will tell , I guess .

garry
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Postby guest » Sunday 9. March 2008, 05:58

Also , to make it official , perhaps the ability to simply add a 'Right-Click' option to the Icons on the 'View Control Window' ? This is the Window we use most and now that it is 2 columns wide we can add even more of our most used Icons (via 'drag&drop' from the Available Objects Window) .

It would also be very useful if we could make some of these Icons user configurable , or make the 'Right-Click' user configurable . For instance , make the 'Ray Trace' Icon's right-click a 'Mosaic-Trace' or a 'High-Quality-Trace' , or the 'Top-View icon could be 'Top-View Parallel' for the right-click function .

This could effectively double the amount of Icon functions there , thereby eleminating many , many mouse moves and clicks in the course of an entire project .

garry
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Postby guest » Monday 10. March 2008, 12:47

Just going through some old list mails from V5 that mention some things that never made it into V6 or are still not improved even with V6's focus on interface improvements .

1) We have a Tabbed Select Window , but it is still not part of the default user interface . Make it so ,please .

2) We have the new 'Tool Bar' now (thanks) , but it is a very long toolbar and many other options can be added here that will help to cut down on the non-stop window hunting that goes with 3D creation (in any app) . Rotate could be added , since sometimes handles are difficult to grab . Lot's could be added here , so that users would not have to continually 'hunt&peck' for modifiers (advanced users like hotkeys [good for them]) , but switching back and forth between screen and keyboard is very tiring for the eyes after many hours .

For geometric objects could we have a '3D Size Field' , or a 'Link' box , something , so that we can move all 3 size fields at once ? The new "Game Like" numeric rollers are ok , but try and resize a sphere equally using them !

Set it up so that the right mouse button locks all 3 fields , or something ... but then put it in the manual too .

3) The 'Tabbed Select' Window is an awesome concept , but at the very least , the 'View Properties Window' should be on one of those tabs . Certain Windows get used most often by the average user (not the advanced user) and the 'View Properties Window' is certainly one of those most used windows .

The 'View Properties' window is a bear of a window , with so many tab's of it's own , so the ability exists to help an average user get at it quickly and easily , with the tabbed 'Select' window .

Why not simply add this as a tab ? Why not write a small tutorial on how the average user can also add many more of their favorite tabs to the 'Select' window , in an effort to cut down on wrist strain and stress ? It get's negglected because the focus is continually on plowing forward , simple as that .

Above all , make it part of the default startup . Why go to all the trouble of coding a feature (like the 'Tabbed Select' window , but then keep it somewhat hidden from new users ?

4)On the positive side (circa2008) we finally have a fully functioning , ready for prime time , 'Quad-View' ! halle-freakin' lujah!!!! Could we simply have the ability to move the divider around to make our 'Perspective View' larger or smaller ? Could we please have our "dbl. click to toggle back to 'Single View Window' ", back again ? Please . (I know the tool to do that is now on the 'View Control' window , but why take away the dbl click hot key , and replace it with 'Alt Dbl-click' ? )

5) Hitting the 'p' key opens the 'property window' but doesn't toggle it closed and now the bug is back where it will keep opening more than 1 property window .

6) Include HTML docs too . Yes , the new MS style help files are great for finding information , but we are hamstrung with one viewer (the MS viewer) unless we want to shell out $ for another viewer . The MS viewer is an old pig of a viewer with absolutely no options build into it . HTML viewers are designed for ease of use and the ability to retrace steps , enable bookmarks , etc etc etc . MS Help Viewer has a great search device . If HTML docs were still included , I would use both at once when searching for info , so that I could later bookmark specific items and areas for later browsing and sharing of info .

The 'StartOpts.exe' shows 'HTML' manual , but none exists .

Also , I should say that it has been a very long road for Realsoft , since the Mac version , the Linux version , and now the 64 bit version must have taken just a huge amount of work , far beyond what mere mortals should have to do . The hard work is very appreciated , but can easily be forgotten when the sweat is dripping into my eyes , and the bald spots on my head are becoming scabbed over again .

So thanks for what we have , and thanks in advance for reading this mail . It never gets said enough , and never will , I suppose , but hopefully some killer works done by Realsoft3D users will be a reward of a kind for everyone . My concerns are of course , making that goal a little easier to accomplish for new users , whereas I get the feeling sometimes that the goal of RS is to provide those tools for the more advanced users who have the ability to always find workarounds , or dig for info , in order to get where they want to go .

thanks
garry
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Postby Timo » Wednesday 12. March 2008, 08:13

guest wrote:Could we please have our "dbl. click to toggle back to 'Single View Window' ", back again ? Please . (I know the tool to do that is now on the 'View Control' window , but why take away the dbl click hot key , and replace it with 'Alt Dbl-click' ? )
The plain double click caused me to toggle the view window when adding points quickly. I prefer alt+dblclick.
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Postby guest » Monday 17. March 2008, 06:25

Another area that few people seem to use is the UV Mapping Tools . I realise that this whole Subdivision Surfaces concept ,that the whole industry has taken on has a huge "Achilles Heal" , and that is the mapping of textures to surfaces . It's a mostly , ridiculous series of workaround methods , completely unexacting and certainly not a science , but more an art of sorts . The art of nonsense , if you ask me .

Anyway , it looks like the bad acid trip of SDS is with us to stay . So then perhaps we need a much more intuative way of applying textures to SDS objects , beyond what exists now with the whole
-- Map2Object -- (to ty and come up with a reasonable UV Mesh)
-- UVImage -- (to bake it in)

I'll repeat my original hypothesis : "Let's move forward with RSV7 by going back and making 'hard-edged' toolsets much more user friendly , simply by focusing on creativity instead of compromise . Threads like this one are hell on developers .

Then again , maybe I've got it backwards . Maybe Realsoft is simply guilty of giving us too much . Too many tools with too many options . I don't know . I do certainly feel that it would not hurt to stop and have a good look at what is already included in RS , and how it is operating , and if certain areas need another look , before we move on to "bigger and better things" .

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