A few feature requests

Hi !

As a long time 3ds max user who started with blender (it was in the nineties, somewhere around 98 or 99), I’d like to help a bit to suggest some features to help in the modeling process. I love what you guys did with the program, it’s so much better than before I just can’t imagine.

So I gave the new release a test run and came out with some feature requests. These are things that you really need to be on par with any other polymodeling software, and it’s basic stuff (maybe not to implement, but as features, they are important).

  • Backface culling

This is critical, I’m a level designer and without backface culling I lose a lot of time hiding faces. You need it ASAP, this could actually be a reason for a new 2.36 release. :wink:

  • Target weld (merge)

This is something I miss so much. Welding at the middle is nice, welding at the 3d cursor is nice, but it not right if you want to weld multiple vertices at the existing place of a certain vertex.

The way I see it would be (with blender workflow in mind is)

  1. Select a bunch of vertices
  2. Alt+M > To target
  3. Select the vertex (it is an unselected vertex) that you want your selection to be merged to

And it’s done.

  • Planar constraints

(I’ve already been answered on this one, this is a new feature for the next release, good job !)

  • Smoothing groups

If you know 3ds max, you know smoothing groups.

This is a very useful feature for smoothing. You assign a certain smoothing group to a number of faces. These faces are then smooted together. Smoothing groups can also be mixed, so a texture can have multiple groups assigned to one. Again, really important for any game modeling. Splitting meshes isn’t a way to go, you can’t mix the smoothing groups to have advanced effects and some games do not accept models with overlapping vertices and open edges.

In high-polygon modeling this can be used to control the way subdiv is applied. This is also an easy way of making creases and things like that.

  • Viewport name in a corner

Small issue, but can become kinda confusing. Maybe it’s there and I’m just stupid but I don’t see any way to know what viewport or camera I’m using.

This could also be used as an easy way to switch between different cameras. (a rollout on the viewport name)

  • Viewport rotation

The viewport can become off-axis, whether it’s on turntable or ball (something like that) this is not major, but it is annoying.

  • Rename objects directly from the outliner

What more can I say ?

  • Chamfer

It is available as a script, not very useful to switch between the script and button bar to use this (commonly used) function. Would be nice if it would be implemented via the spacebar or the shortcuts.

Again, you really did a great job and the amount of changes is astonishing ! Keep up the good work ! :smiley:

This is already implemetned in 2.35. Just go into solid mode (ctrl+z).

  • Target weld (merge)

This is something I miss so much. Welding at the middle is nice, welding at the 3d cursor is nice, but it not right if you want to weld multiple vertices at the existing place of a certain vertex.

This could easily be done by selecting a vertex, shift+s and cursor to selected, and then do a merge at cursor. Done.

If you know 3ds max, you know smoothing groups.

This is a very useful feature for smoothing. You assign a certain smoothing group to a number of faces. These faces are then smooted together. Smoothing groups can also be mixed, so a texture can have multiple groups assigned to one. Again, really important for any game modeling. Splitting meshes isn’t a way to go, you can’t mix the smoothing groups to have advanced effects and some games do not accept models with overlapping vertices and open edges.

In high-polygon modeling this can be used to control the way subdiv is applied. This is also an easy way of making creases and things like that.

This I agree with you on. I would like to see smoothing groups implemented too, but they have nothing to do with subdiv surfaces, as you said. You can smooth a non-subdiv surface too.

  • Viewport name in a corner

Small issue, but can become kinda confusing. Maybe it’s there and I’m just stupid but I don’t see any way to know what viewport or camera I’m using.

This could also be used as an easy way to switch between different cameras. (a rollout on the viewport name)

There is a small icon that shows you which view your in, with an axis. So, if your in top view it shows a X and Y axis.

  • Viewport rotation

The viewport can become off-axis, whether it’s on turntable or ball (something like that) this is not major, but it is annoying.

Why? This is a feature. I like being able to quickly rotate my view. In max, iI hated having to go and first select the 3d orbit tool.

Anyways, you have some good points, but some are not.

But regardless, I have used Max (learned it before I learned Blender) and Blender’s workflow is SO much better for polygonal modeling. I don’t think that Max is a very good goal to be striving for.

you can rename objects from outliner easely just ctr+click them.
and if I understend right Backface culling also exist but only in solid mode (it’s a little button with a cube icon on it just near the selection types on the main header).

  1. Doesn’t work in edit mode, that’s where it’s useful, not simple visualisation. There’s some kind of see-through mode, not really useful, it’s just gets even more confusing. Non camera facing faces should be hidden, including their edges and vertices.

  2. Thanks, didn’t know, somewhat longer though.

  3. Sorry I meant Subsurf, smoothing groups can be used to control subsurf.

  4. The icon is nice, but how do you know which camera you’re using ?

  5. This is a personnal preference. You could as well be able to rotate through Shift+Ctrl or whatever.

Whether Max’s or Blender’s workflow is the better, it’s purely subjective.

Re: 1

It does work in edit mode…

Go into edit mode, hit Z, and then turn on the new icon that is new to 2.35(your running latest version, right)? It is right next to the “face select mode” and is only viewable when you are in shaded mode, it looks liked a shaded solid cube.

Then you can only select viewable vertex’s.

Max orbit tool is a bit a thing of the past…
(btw, if u customized keys, as u could change em as u prefered, I had the key rotating orbit, exactly like Blender numpad, though I could also set wheter big steps rotation, or quite much more accurate ones. Maybe this is also possible in blender, I dunno. )

In Max 5 (now it’s about 7…) you already could rotate middle button + alt key, pan with middle button, zoom with wheel. I agree with him when says that it goes off axis in Blender…The orbit icon I only use it now to rotate with selected as center…so it rotates around selected allways .Anyway, I think Wings “blender camera” viewport navigation type is even better than these two ones (having same asignment than Blender’s, middle rotate, shift pan, wheel zoom. ) Blender turntable would get improved if worked much like those, imho.In what is the rotation.

In wings, if u hit shift a, u fix the new viewport rotation center in that specific element and zoom to it…‘a’ sets the center in the avergae point of selected stuff… (ctrl a selects all)

so, is my fav way to model, if I’m modelling a finger, I select a vert there, shift a, and work so quick. The turntable will never “start to degenerate” in its rotation, neither is dependant in where I click, so I can concentrate more in actual modelling. But yep, this is subjective .I’d just ask the ppl to try that one so comparison could be made…

hey, er…about poly modelling…seing that u speak about the orbit tool, that is very much from the old max 3 or 4.2 old times…Max 5, and not to speak 7, have improved such a lot, plus the majority of no real max users, didn’t dig too much in max modelling… Please, have a look at polycount Pimping section, you will see there with no doubt some of the best game models ever,(edit: not now, the forums where reinstalled, and many of the good artists aren’t showing now there…I put u better samples bellow) and usually done with max (lately more and more Maya, too)

Also, for organic, I tend to like to have free scripts like Meshtools (allways in top ten of popular maxscripts in scriptspot.com ) , Polymagus, and several other that transform Max in something not easy to imagine :wink:

Warcraft3, and many Blizzard games(and such a load of 3d games out there…quake3 arena, etc) have been done entirely with Max, lol…must be somewhat good for poly modelling…

Indeed, I think both Blender and Max are good for the task.

Look…I hear too much strange things bout max in these forums…i’ll put some pics, at least , will be nice to see for some people. They’re all made with Max. Max poly modelling? yep, and splines, and all the load of ways you have available to model in Max…if you know it.

Look…

OOOPS…this one was done with the o much worse Max 4, compared to the wonders that are today 5, 6, and 7… :
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=163737

If it’s so bad its modelling then this guy must be…crazy ? :wink:

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=166945

cell shading anime max model

great detailed max model

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=163737

low pol stuff, but quite good… Very tight to th egta game style he was after… (1.500 tris, I think)
http://www.realtimecg.com/template.php?id=Qubizm.php&n=18

Super low pol piece of art…using really low res textures…
http://www.realtimecg.com/template.php?id=Fred.php&n=14

Note: This post is not another Max vs Blender. Tired to see that. Is just that again and again I keep hearing that max is not good for modelling, is not good for anything, is not good for…But I read in these forums, and not in many other professional tools forums.

As I said, Blender and Max can do very well the task…and Maya, and xsi, Mirai, etc.

All of them could improved…but please…please…have a look of what can be done with max…I have done it with Blender, had a look at the extremely good artwor that env, andy and many others do with blender, I consider their artwork top in the top level of cgtalk. :slight_smile: (the alien queen, etc)

Extrudeface, I think you have totally missed the point.

fakeplastic isn’t is saying that max is a bad modeling tool. He is simply saying that workflow is better in blender, and, as a user of both, I agree fully.

Max’s clustered menu’s and hard to find features make it a lot slower than blender, where most things are in plain sight.

Yes, thank you [email protected] I have seen very good stuff from Max, so I am not saming it isn’t good. I just think the workflow is better in Blender. I had to model something quick for work, started it in VIZ2004 and had trouble to do it quick. Switched to Blender, modelled it, and then exported it to VIZ. It is a personal preference, but for me, Blender is quicker for polygonal modelling.

And yes, Extrudeface, I was using an older version of max, v3. BUT I am using Viz2005, which is a “disabled” version of max5 or 6 i think. maybe there are some newer tools that I am not aware of.

I forgot about the Alt+middle mouse button, but I still like to be able to rotate my view quicker.

Already answered, but it DOES work in edit mode.

Subdiv and Subsurf are the same thing. Again, smoothing has nothing to do with these. With a default cube with no subsurf turned on, select it and hit smooth. Render. You will see that it does “smooth” without subsurf.

But it would be nice to have smoothing groups. Something that I missed.

PLEASE. I am not trying to turn this into a what’s better thread. I just wanted to make it clear that Blender is not trying to imitate the other guys. It is it’s own program. Feature requests are fine, but don’t try to make a MAX-Clone.

I’m not tryin to be an ass fakeplastic, but really it doesn’t work, in whatever display mode I am. Crtl+Z changes nothing, it just does an undo…

Maybe a pic will be clearer :
http://www.heliosmulti.com/images/b_cg.jpg
Left is how it is in blender, right is how I want it in blender (this is 3ds max).

Maybe there’s something special to enable in the material, sorry I just can’t find it.

There’s this icon which says “Limit selection to visible” which only makes my faces semi-transparent, this is not exactly what I’m looking for…

<hr>

About smoothing groups look at what I’m talking about:

http://www.heliosmulti.com/images/sg.jpg

These 3 meshes are 3 boxes at 1x1x1 that are exactly the same. I use smoothing groups to make the subvid behave differently.

On number 1 all faces have the same smoothing group. This creates a sphere.

On number 2 all faces have different smoothing groups, subvid just subdivides the squares as it would on different squares.

On number 3 all faces have different smoothing groups except the two that have small white dots on them. These two create a curve, while those on the side are only affected by the edges.

okay…

let’s do it slowly now… (im not trying to degrade you, im just trying to help you get it to work)

  1. enter edit mode

  2. press [z]

  3. on the edit buttons header, there will be a button with a cube on it right next to the new selection mode buttons

if the button is on, then you should have backface culling in your mesh.

when you try to select, say a face, then right clicking near it will select the face nearest to you, blender shouldnt select any face in back of it…

i hope it works now

~Delta

Okay so I had undertood correctly.

Just to show you what happens:
http://www.heliosmulti.com/images/bc.gif

I get semi-transparent faces. The problem is not about selection, it’s about display of the faces. Don’t you think it’s a bit busy ?

schwinnz:
You can get those 3 different versions pretty easily in blender.

Take a cube and set it to subsurf lvl 3. You should have your sphere.

Select all edges and hit “Shift-E” which is creases, hold ctrl and scale it up to 1.0, and it will turn it into the cube.

Select 1 edge(The one you want to be curved) and hit “shift-e” and turn the crease level down to 0.0, and you will have that exact state in your pic, that of a cube with one beveled/curved face.

So far, blender seems to be matching all your request, all you need to do is learn the blender way of doing things(just like learning the maya way, the max way, ect)

Yeah yeah I know I’m not saying it’s something blender can’t do, I’m just saying it’s another advantage to smoothing groups. And really I personally don’t care, I’m low-poly modeler, I don’t even need subdivs…

@schwinnz: In your screenshot the “Limit selection to visible” button is not pressed. No wonder that the back faces show up. You have to press it to hide them.

If it’s activated it shows up like on the left side of the first image I posted, what I’m tryin to achieve is like on the right side. The faces which normals are not facing the camera should hide.

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1088.asp

Very interesting link with code.

http://medialab.di.unipi.it/web/IUM/Waterloo/node66.html

http://gpwiki.org/index.php/3D:Backface_Culling

Another very interesting link with code.

http://www.cs.unc.edu/~zhangh/backface.html

I have a Quadro, does it change anything ? Quadros support two-sided polygons.

Try the button in the lower right corner of the screenshot.

You can get either of these:
http://arose.hopto.org/download/2004-11-23_elYsiun.jpg
I haven’t used 3ds max, but I don’t find either of those statisfying, do you know how to make a better one?

That’s what it gives. And yes the normals are facing into the model.

http://www.heliosmulti.com/images/bc2.gif

How do I know my requests will be heard by someone on the dev team ?

Well, it does help if you ask on the development site: http://www.blender.org

Martin

That’s what it gives. And yes the normals are facing into the model.

How do I know my requests will be heard by someone on the dev team ?[/quote]

Ok, sorry. I may have misunderstood you. So, if I have this right, you want the faces whose normals are pointing away from the camera to be hidden?

If so, then I am sorry. I thought you wanted the faces (and vertices and edges) behind other faces to be hidden. That’s what Blender does with the toggle

Well, as far as I know, I don’t think this is possible in Blender.

About the smoothing groups…what modifier are you using in max?
I assume that you are using the Meshsmooth modifier with the option “Smoothing Result ->Smoothing Groups” turned on?

If so, then I understand now.

So, to clarify, smoothing affects whether an edge is hard or soft, so to speak. It can be applied to a non-subdivision surface too. Smoothing is not ment to be a “control” for subdiv surfaces. BUT Max has the added feature to allow it to do this.

Blender, does not have this “extra” feature. It uses edge crease weights to do something similar though. But the set smooth option does not affect the way subdivision surface are calculated.

In blender, to control which edges are “smoothed” by surbsurf, you apply a crease weight to the edge. Do this by selecting the edge and shift+e and move the mouse to change the weight.

Smoothing

schwinnz for the level modeling you are doing you do not want Backface Culling this is a technique for removing/culling backfaces that will not be visible so that they do not have to be rendered. Really what you want is something more like Frontface Transparency. In Blender what you can do is hide the frontfaces. Select the faces you want to hide and press the HKEY to hide and the Alt+HKEY to restore them.

As for smoothing groups Blender does this in subdivision using weighted edges to change the geometry. Select the faces that are adjacent to the edge you want to weight and press E then move the cursor towards the center of the object to change the shape.