Submitting blender addon ideas and designs (With images !!!)

Hello all
Ive been using Blender for a while now and came up with some suggestions on addons for the future version of Blender, I know that some of these are avaliable in some degree within Blender already, Im more taking aobut 6 months down the line when Cycles starts to full take over all the rendering (including hair work).

So here are some of the ideas Im putting forward.

  1. Switch/double/half button
    Simple set of buttons next to the resolution bar to allow you to double or half your image, or switch the image around if you want it to go into portrait mode (this is the easy one the 3).
    Why? Well if youve been up late it can be a pain to remember the numbers as you switch them around from landscape to portrait, and whilst you can use * or / to double/halve the amounts, a simple set of buttons would just speed it up.

  1. Little more complicated to explain so Ive included images for both.
    This is to do mainly with how cycles uses the node system to handle the materials and scenes, I hoped to put forward a system where you could use the already well made uvs youve spent hours cleaning up to help guide and colour the hair in greater detail.
    I understand that this can be done to some degree within the materials/textures pallette but I thought it would be interesting if the hair could be divided along its root, so you could have multple colour within the hair But! also have it so that you can have patched of differing hair clumps based on individual uv colour maps. So say a chest area could have collections of hair that is White with grey stalks and also hair with white and orange stacks.
    But how could this be done? simple First colour map have one set of colours so you can go crazy and it will only display that colour group, add another colour map and each hair is split in half, now you could say have polka dots on the top layer and stripes on the bottom.
    and after that you could add however many layers of colour you want.

After that you can use the colour maps to create vertex paint style uv maps that control the areas where should be, the clumping and finally it comes to idea 3.

Direction flow mapping, a uv based map that helps you control the flow of the hair in its base state (also you can do the painting(before you add a couple of tweaks within the combing/particle mode). So you paint the direction the fur is to go and it will flow depending on the strength of the map colour you use ( used red/green for example, for a pale red is having less effect on the hair then solid red which would have the hair flat down, green acts the opposite). The bonus is that you can replace the hair with a different hair flow, then if you want to have it back again you can just switch the maps. Good if your looking to replace a character models look to create a new character.

So what do you think?

  1. Completely pointless. If you’re up so late that you can’t switch numbers around, go to sleep.

  2. A node-based particles system was presented at Bconf 2011, so sit tight.

  3. Not a bad idea, but this addresses an issue that is better solved by an update to the existing particle combing system, not an additional edit mode.

First off thanks for the reply, now onto the responce.

  1. I just figured it would be nice to have 3 small buttons attached next to the resolution section? Ah well if I ever manage to get a lick of phython skills Ill write a addon.

  2. I figured that part out, I was hoping to find out what how being created and see how it compares to my version, not better or worse comparison just Im just interested to know.

  3. Glad this one seemed to get some acceptance, there isnt much in other programs that do this from what I have seen, the most similar idea Ive seen is Sasquatch in Lightwave, which had a point and gravity ball system that allowed you to control the flow and drop of the hair.
    I guess you could try and make a vertex map version, but with the arrows pointing instead of heat style maps.

Just a quick addendum to some of the stuff I wrote that came to me a few hours after writing the previous post.

  1. Completely pointless. If you’re up so late that you can’t switch numbers around, go to sleep.
    When you have a deadline due and you have to get the work done that isnt a option, having 3 small buttons added wouldnt take up much more space then the resolution screen already does, If I get a ounce of coding skill Ill try my hand at making this myself.
  1. A node-based particles system was presented at Bconf 2011, so sit tight.
    I watched the BConf2011 - sunday - 9: Node-based Particle System Development video by Lukas Toenne, whilst Im glad to see that some of my ideas are being made already, the video was more focused on the particles, no mention of hair was made. Sitting tight whilst the development is in progress will just make it much harder to have any input in future when the code has been written in, Im a fan of using hair particles (for my animal work), and the development of this is something Im strongly interested in helping getting right.
  1. Not a bad idea, but this addresses an issue that is better solved by an update to the existing particle combing system, not an additional edit mode.
    I dont know, the combing system is a little cramped up in the T window. Some of the things in the T panel should be in the particle panel for hair, for example the draw: path steps should be next to or above colour : in the display seciton. I spent a damn lot of time trying to figure out that the actual control to add segments to hair was based in the combing section of hair and not in the particle hair section where everything else is.

Besides being that there isnt a way to save the flow of hair currently in Blender, why not use the uvmaps you would have to store the information and save it for future use?

Also dammit the amount of times I had to log back in to repost this reply :eek:

2.Hairs are one part of Particles system. Node-based particles means node-based Hairs.

  1. Cycles is still a WIP project. Default renderer is still Blender’s internal.
    Cycles UI is not ready to take into account textures to control Particles but Blender Render UI can.
    So, you just have to use Blender Render UI to influence hairs by UVmapped textures.
    When you create a particle system, there is a particle button aded, here.
    http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Textures/Assigning_a_Texture#Choosing_the_Texture_data_type
    in 2.49, you could use Texture Fields .
    http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Physics/Force_Fields#Texture_field

T column is for tools. Draw Path Steps are relative to Particle Mode.
Properties are in properties editor. Segments are in top of hair UI.
Path steps displayed in object mode are in Display Panel under Material Color.
Path Steps rendered are in Render Panel.
It is logical.

In 3dsmax you can enable physics for a brief time to let the hair drop down and comb that. I’ve tried to do the same with Blender, but the system just doesn’t allow you to bake any of the particle system cache. If that were possible, it would be easier to get something that looks good more quickly. Another good wishlist feature would be to add some oversimplified specularity and strand mapping to the viewport shader. But this forum is already so swamped with wishlists that it’s getting annoying.

As for the “arrows pointing hair direction” feature - i think it’s more trouble than it’s worth. It will only store two-dimensional “flow data”, whereas with real combing you get the full hairstyle. So what’s the point of doing all this texture stuff when you can do the whole combing part in one go without leaving anything to the imagination? You can already store different hair configurations as different particle systems or disconnect the hair from the emitter mesh if you want to change the mesh topology or graft it to an entirely different mesh.

Hello again, I know for a fact that when it comes to explaining myself, I suck, particularly when writing, and I get the feeling that in the last few posts I didnt do much better at explaining the idea I had for the hair colour, flow mapping part. If those that responded before could look at this image I made today Id appriciate more feedback.

there is more to add to this but Im having to do all the image write up in photoshop so its taking a while to get it down right.

Sorry for the odd reply I cannot seem to get quotes to work properly.

[QUOTE=zeauro;2054561]

2.Hairs are one part of Particles system. Node-based particles means node-based Hairs.

[QUOTE/]

I understand that when he said Node based particles it would include hair, but the talk didnt talk about the ways of making hair just how the nodes woud be used to create the particles, the video was more akin to how to make smoke/fire then hair or fur.

[QUOTE]

  1. Cycles is still a WIP project. Default renderer is still Blender’s internal.
    Cycles UI is not ready to take into account textures to control Particles but Blender Render UI can.

[QUOTE/]

I know thats why I started the thread on development of the cycles hair for 6 months down the road. Im not arguing the current system, as trying to change it now when its so close to being upgrade would be pointless, however how it could be made is still as you said wip, so Id hope a little input wouldnt hurt.

[QUOTE]

So, you just have to use Blender Render UI to influence hairs by UVmapped textures.
When you create a particle system, there is a particle button aded, here.
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Textures/Assigning_a_Texture#Choosing_the_Texture_data_type
in 2.49, you could use Texture Fields .
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Physics/Force_Fields#Texture_field

[QUOTE/]

Still the way to do it currently is a little spread over the place, if there was a system in place similar to the texture paint layer manager except for hair fur (maybe have it appear in the n menu when you go into the combing mode.

[QUOTE]

T column is for tools. Draw Path Steps are relative to Particle Mode.
Properties are in properties editor. Segments are in top of hair UI.
Path steps displayed in object mode are in Display Panel under Material Color.
Path Steps rendered are in Render Panel.
It is logical.

[QUOTE/]

Im going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this one.
T is for tools, so covers modifying the already done settings you have already applied into the particle window.
Path steps controls the amount of smoothness in the hair similar to colour in the display of the hair ui and the (supposed) segments section in the hair ui. Tweaking the segments at the hair ui doesnt change the amount of hair visually(just been rechecking to see if your correct and it always stays at 5 even when changing the segment section to 9 or 2, it does change when you change the path steps from 2 to 3 and increase higher the more path steps added), if it segments did that would be logical, at the moment it doesnt which isnt. Path steps then should be placed either next to the display section or next to the segment section, or even replace the segment section altogether.

Again sorry seems my thread writing skills are failing me today.

True you can make the hair flop in 3dsmax, but this system Im proposing is more like lightwaves sasquatch were it will flow along the body even if it has to go horizontally. Making the hair drop just has it go downwards, like in 3dsmax or zbrush fibers (also can leave a nasty bald stop on the top).

If you have to switch a lot, why not just add a preset for each resolution instead. …and you can double/halving the resolution by using the percentage slider (set it to 200% and 50%) .

… if like to get into coding it’s a simple thing to code, but I don’t see any real benefit of that feature.

Thats a very good point, just set it to a very high value and then halve or quarter the percentage. Thats pretty good :slight_smile: Hah! Thanks :D.

Ask help to author of the add-on. Maybe it is not necessary to create another add-on. Texture paint layers could be enhanced to support particles paint layers.

T is for tools, so covers modifying the already done settings you have already applied into the particle window.
Path steps controls the amount of smoothness in the hair similar to colour in the display of the hair ui and the (supposed) segments section in the hair ui. Tweaking the segments at the hair ui doesnt change the amount of hair visually(just been rechecking to see if your correct and it always stays at 5 even when changing the segment section to 9 or 2, it does change when you change the path steps from 2 to 3 and increase higher the more path steps added), if it segments did that would be logical, at the moment it doesnt which isnt. Path steps then should be placed either next to the display section or next to the segment section, or even replace the segment section altogether.

Entering in Particle Mode is freezing particle system.
It is why Segments setting is greyed after that.
Display of Path Steps is like for 3D curve resolution. Segments are like segments between controls points of 3dcurve.
More segments, more control points in particle mode, more control points for hair dynamics. It is not only a visual setting.
One resolution for Object Mode in display panel under color field and one resolution for Render in render panel.
So, in my mind, particle mode is a tool. Path Steps in toolcolumn is only for Particle Mode.
Sometimes, it helps to reduce resolution to easily see segments.
For that, it is better to have access to this setting in a 3Dview region because 3DView can be maximized.
It is not illogical for me.
We can argue that this setting should be synchronized with display in Object mode or that it shoud go in display panel in View properties, too.
In practice, I 'd better like it stays the way it is, now.