Future of modeling tools in Blender?


just saw (again) in the gallery of blender.org and there are wonderful renderings - especially the interior and mechanical things. As for modeling I’m a beginner and I believe it will take a long time to reach a level where I can say it’s ok (for me). But nonetheless I’m a professional in 2D graphics and on the way to 3D. My interest mainly is modeling of architectural and mechanical things (product design). I play around with blender since about 2 years and although I’ve tested demos of other 3D programs I always came back to blender (also 'cause it’s open source of course!). But when I start to modeling I always come to the point where I hope there was a “line tool” (like in “Anim8or” for example) or a good spline tool (like in “Art of Illusion” for example). I know there is a “path tool” and a “bezier curve” but to me those tools are’nt very handy. Maybe we can expect also better modeling tools with the next release of blender (beneath the revision of the UI)?

Next question: as I mentioned above, how can one achieve those beautiful render results? Do I have to render with YafRay and the highest “AA” and “GI” and so on (don’t know too much about this settings) and have to wait 20 hours or longer for the rendering output or could I achieve this also with the blender internal render engine with special settings in a shorter time? (I know it’s of course very important how complex a scene is).

Thanks for any hints.

Could you describe those curve tools you mentioned better? It doesn’t help much to mention “line tool” like in Anim8or. I know curves are not perfect but I think you get pretty far with the handle types we have in Blender. I am interested in hearing a concrete proposal about how curves could be made better. Be as clear as possible (use images if possible) and explain how the tools would fit the current user interface.

At one point there were plans to implement Nurbana into blender, but I think that died. Most of the tools in other programs have their blender analog if your creative in your uses of what blender already has.

As for the renders, the way they become so beautiful is not through a magic combination of buttons, but through a magic artist, somebody who knows his tools and importantly how to use his tools efficiently and effectively. This person knows art as well: the composition, the emotion, the passion, etc. They know color and how it interacts to produce stuff.

If you learn your tools (Blender, gimp, etc.) and you learn your fundamentals (composition and color and form) then you will be able to produce art like that in your own, unique style.

does help to me… I have similar threads here: http://blendimation.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=684855%3ATopic%3A61 and http://blendimation.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=684855%3ATopic%3A261

To Bebraw:
I mean tools like in CAD programs (or likewise in Inkscape) where you can easily and fast draw a line or a “freehand” line (a curve) with the mouse to make a (2D) shape. Nothing special - but these 2 tools like mentioned in my opinon are very important for modeling in general and especially for architectural modeling. If I want to draw a line in Blender I first have to put a circle in (or some other object), then delete the vertices and only then I could begin to draw my lines.

torvo: Could you please describe exact workflow in Blender? What should the user do and when? I am not exactly sure about ~how~ to adapt those tools to Blender and whether adapting is worth it. Be as exact as possible.

I know there is a script to record movement of mouse cursor to a curve but this produces really much control points.

Use cases would help too. Use cases would show weaknesses/strengths of Blender’s curve tools easier. Example: the user needs to do foo thing. Currently to do this the user does this, that and that thing. Alternative way to do this would be to foo etc.

I think he’s talking about polyline: one click you select the tool, at first click in a viewport
you create a point (at a depth usually the same as the depth of last operation),
then any other click you add a point and a segment with previous point, with a
shift+click you just add a segment between the last added point and the first one,
closing the line.

Indeed the same result is not impossible to get actually but with a lot more work.

I think he’s talking about polyline: one click you select the tool, at first click in a viewport
you create a point (at a depth usually the same as the depth of last operation),
then any other click you add a point and a segment with previous point, with a
shift+click you just add a segment between the last added point and the first one,
closing the line.
I could see something like this as a tool within curve edit mode or perhaps this could be integrated to creation of a new curve (add -> curve -> Blank Bezier or something more appropriate). In case of beziér curve it would work in following way:

  • The user activates the tool.
  • The user adds a control point by using selection button (normally right mouse button).
  • The user defines the length and direction of one handle. The active handle can be swapped by using a hotkey. Handle type can also be altered. After user clicks selection button again handles are locked in place.
  • Go back to 2 unless the user hits enter to confirm or esc to cancel operation.What do you think about that?

I would be very happy with something that worked like the standard ‘pen tool’ in illustrator or inkscape. It’s tried and tested, and everyone’s familiar with it. Click to add a vector point, click-drag to add a point with handles of the length that you dragged. It’s a lot easier to add curves on the first go, rather than Blender’s method which inevitably ends up with lots of tweaking required.

A freehand curve drawing tool would also be neat - bonus points for using tablet pressure to define the curve radius :slight_smile:

Yes, exactly those tools mentioned by broken (‘pen tool’). Classical drawing tools like in almost every 2D software. It would be great if this could be integrated in one of the next versions of blender. I’m (unfortunately) no programer but I think to implement these functions should be a relatively simple programming task instead as for example to program a new function for the physics engine (correct me if I’m wrong).

I think I just found my code portfolio project!

Can you wait a bit until implementation? Just need to finish this BSoD tutorial first. :stuck_out_tongue:

(This is, of course, assuming someone more experienced doesn’t want to take it up. I’d certainly stand aside for Jesterking or any other more experienced coder who’d complete it faster and possibly better.)

Great to hear!

I’ll certainly need to consult with a few people (inc you) to see what the expected behaviour of this tool should be.

That’s great! I too find it difficult for the current way Blender handles curve creation. Tools like that will definitely be of great help.

kargath64: I don’t want to appear harsh but I don’t think it’s necessary to make a consulting about these functions. It’s quite simple: like mentioned above I exactly mean the drawing tools implemented in ‘Inkscape’ (see on: www.inkscape.org). They are called ‘Freehand Tool’ (for drawing freehand lines) and 'Bezier Tool" (for drawing curves and straight lines). I greatly appreciate your afford to start this development.

You may want to look at the retopo tool it has some similar functionality not a real freehand line tool as it uses verts not curves, but it might be a good place to start. I would love to see some more CAD like tools in blender.

torvo: consulting is always a good thing. the market for this tool isn’t just you, y’know. :slight_smile:

In general you’re right, only wanted to say that I think that the functions of these drawing tools need no further description.

…useless reply…

…why am I replying then…


OK, I’ve taken a look at the Blender source … and it’s undocumented spaghetti hell. Coders seem to approach comments as if 200mL of blood was extracted from their chest for every comment line. This may take slightly longer than anticipated. D: