My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Discussion and updates on Curvy 3D Beta development.

My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Funken » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:05 pm

Hello,

I'd like to use this thread to collect my ideas for new functions in the next major release of Curvy 3D. I love to use Curvy 3D, but I think there is always room for improvements as it is with everything. And I have a lot of ideas. Maybe some proposals will be realized. :D
-best wishes, Funken
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Simon » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:22 pm

Hi Funken, glad to have your input on 4.0 :D You are welcome to add to this thread!
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Funken » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:51 pm

So, here are my first ideas:

Much more curve types: line, polyline, arc, bezier/spline curves, rectangle, circle, polygon

I think this is a must for every "drawing software". Now there is only a freehand drawing mode in Curvy 3D. Though you can already straigthen drawn curves with the ruler tool it's not the same as having straigtforward curve types that are meant to draw only specific geometry like a perfect square. Moreover, I wished Curvy 3D has some basic spline functionality. I think it would be very useful to have splines since they produce super-smooth curves with only a few control points that can be easily manipulated.

Brush stabilization (like Lazy Mouse in ZBrush)

Do I really have to explain this? Brush stabilization makes it possible to draw smooth curves elegantly and swiftly at the same time. It also reduces the situation where you have to redraw jagged curves since curves are smooth directly from the beginning. There should be an option to control the "smooth factor". A greater smooth factor smoothes out longer mouse paths and vice versa.

Better flatten brush (like in ZBrush/3DCoat)

I think the flatten brush should be updated for Curvy 3D 4.0. Currently the flatten brush in Curvy 3D doesn't feel very natural. It doesn't really work by flatten out the geometry beneath the cursor but actually "level" the geometry between its lowest and highest elevation which can lead to "edges" which is shown in the picture. For comparison there is the flatten tool of 3D Coat.

Image

3D mouse support (3Dconnexion SpaceMouse etc.)

I use my 3D mouse all the time in most of my 3D/CAD programs. The big advantage of 3d mice is that you are able to control the camera and to draw/model at the same time. It also reduces the "clicks" which is healthy to your hand and wrist muscles. I think Curvy 3D could benefit strongly from a 3D mouse control implementation.

Matcaps

Super easy to create on your own. Also easy to use and needs only tiny amounts of system resources. Matcaps are ideal since they provide optimal modeling/sculpting shading of 3d models without the need to build up complex lighting schemes. Matcaps make it also possible to mimik certain materials like clay, soap, stone, wood, and so on which can impact your way you sculpt your model.

Sizable panels

The UI of Curvy 3D feels a bit outdated. To upgrade Curvy 3D in means of UI and UX I think all panels should be sizable. But not only the panels itself but also the text and control elements inside of them. Especially the text is very small and can be hard to read sometimes. With larger panels and panel contents you increase the accessibility to the program.
-best wishes, Funken
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Simon » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:21 pm

Wishlist = After 4.0 (probably)

Curve Types: Wishlist. Will be interesting to first get some experience with SVG import & Inkscape as a companion app.

Brush Stabilisation: YES this is a great idea.

Flatten Brush: YES I think I misunderstood how this brush should work. Curvy's brush removes dents, but it is actually more useful as you describe.

3D Mouse: Maybe... I do have a 3D mouse but didn't make much progress with it, and I'm not sure if it will be too niche (eg: only useful to small %)

Matcaps: DONE I've been using "Matcaps" long before ZBrush existed :) They are just called Lightmaps in Curvy. If you set the ambient and highlight colour to black, the remaining lightmap works just like a Matcap, and even supports alpha. Just right click on the shaded ball and choose any existing Matcap image and it will work in Curvy.
Here are some Matcaps I used in Curvy in the past for example

Sizable panels: YES there is a growing list of UI improvements in This Thread
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Funken » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:27 pm

Icons without letters

This proposal can be seen as an UI improvement idea. The first time I started Curvy 3D the icons with letters in them confused me a bit as I thought it would mean their shortcut. My proposal here is to get rid of the letters and instead change the icons a bit. For example, the icons of surface tools could integrate an stylized wireframe mesh, and the texture tools a classic checkerboard texture.

From this Image to this Image

Vertex painting

Nothing fancy, but it would be nice to have, especially since it needs only very few resources and shouldn't be too hard to implement.

Clay brush

In Curvy 3D, with a "bulge" brush shape the Add brush can mimik the popular Clay brush which can be found in most sculpting programs (e. g. 3D Coat). But still, it's not the same! The Add brush in Curvy 3D - as its name implies - adds material to the surface every time you make a stroke. But it also continually adds material over the same stroke even when the mouse button wasn't released since then. A clay brush doesn't do that. Moreover, a Clay brush feels more natural since it applies new material in way that reminds of soft and ductile clay. So, I'd like to see a dedicated Clay brush to be implimented in the next version of Curvy 3D.

Image
In Curvy 3D, the Add brush can quickly lead to oversized "overhangs" which are not only hard to rescuplt to a proper shape but also intruduce poor and jagged geometry oftenly.

Image
For comparison: One of the few standard clay brushes found in 3D Coat.

Shape library

It would be nice to save custom brush shapes in a library for later use.

Live update of brush shape

When using this Image shape control the shape of the brush should be visible and auto-updated in the 3d viewport.

Redo command

In the menu there is undo but no redo.

Voxel Merge Selection/Mask

A voxel merge function that can be restricted to certain areas of the model. Prevents existing geometry from being re-meshed by the voxel merge algorithm.

Cone primitive

So, we have Sphere, Cube, and Cylinder, but no Cone primitive? :mrgreen: Seriously, can be very useful sometimes.

Misc

I think you made accidently a typo here: Image

More ideas to come!
-best wishes, Funken
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Simon » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:52 pm

Icons without letters: YES I'll bear this in mind for the UI overhaul.

Vertex painting: DONE I think? You can paint vertex colours using the icons you describe above. Or do you mean something else...

Clay Brush: YES - But I don't quite understand how it works yet. I can see that Clay produces a smooth flat stroke, but can still overlap itself later... got to think about that. I appreciate it is a better brush for sculpting in as you have more control of the volume placement, while Curvy is a bit unpredictable as it builds up. I think (?) Clay has a strong smoothing and flattening effect as well. Note, the overlapping stroke completely obscures the edges underneath.

Shape library: Wishlist

Live update of brush shape: YES

Redo command YES - This is quite a big ask as it effects the whole application... but I have plans to make Redo very helpful as part of a action-preview system with live redo's as you change parameters.

Voxel Merge Selection/Mask: Probably not... but you can always cut and stitch parts back together if you want to mix voxel and non-voxel parts (this is what Curvy would have to do under the hood anyway).

Cone primitive: YES. Curvy already supports this as a Line Object with flat ends, a straight curve, and different end radii - but it would be simple to add this to the primitive library when it appears.

Misc: YES ;)
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Funken » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:24 pm

A quick mock-up of how the next Curvy 3D might look like. Please consider the semi-transparent panels. Makes it possible to see through your model (= viewport/working area feels much larger). The panels can be moved and dragged when the pin is opened. :)

Image
-best wishes, Funken
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Simon » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:41 pm

There is quite a UI thread here - big changes ahead! Transparency for panels backgrounds (optional) is a easy add. I'm less keen on transparent controls in the panels (So I like the way you've mocked it up)

Also got to get rid of the 2nd grid - it works while you are rotating, but doesn't help when the view is still.

I have a few big features that require serious UI revision - but the rest of it is very much in flux and open to suggestions. Overall it will be simpler by default, and more powerful in optional extra panels.

I'm interested to experiment with the default model shader and background colour - I'm used to a black background and shiny grey models, but that might not be best for everyone. I suppose a dark UI, a light UI and a 3.0 traditional colour UI would be helpful as initial presets.

I would like people to consider Curvy to be easy to learn - compared to any bigger app. So any ease-of-use/ease-to-learn ideas will be helpful.
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Funken » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:54 pm

Simon wrote:Also got to get rid of the 2nd grid - it works while you are rotating, but doesn't help when the view is still.


This reminds me of modo's workplane. Works exactly that way. Good idea.

Simon wrote:I'm interested to experiment with the default model shader and background colour - I'm used to a black background and shiny grey models, but that might not be best for everyone. I suppose a dark UI, a light UI and a 3.0 traditional colour UI would be helpful as initial presets.


Good that you mention that. Actually, I prefer lighter UIs over dark UIs. Wherever possible, for example in Photoshop, I switch the UI to a light layout. I think dark UIs are too "dismal" to me, I like more lighter, "happier" UIs, like MoI 3D. Instead of only having the choice between light and dark, are Themes (or Color Schemes) possible? Or at least a slider where the user can choose the brightness of the UI?
-best wishes, Funken
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Simon » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:12 pm

Oh yes, I was thinking if the UI supported 3, it would force me to make a general solution and add a properties page for the UI. Then you could have as many actual Themes as you liked.
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Funken » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:13 pm

Shortcuts for different views

It would be nice to call different views with shortcuts (based on the numpad would be nice). Let's say "5" for 3D/perspective, "8" for top ortho view, "2" for bottom ortho view", "4" and "6" for left/right view respectively. No need to switch to a four views layout anymore since you can quickly "jump" between different views via some keystrokes on the numpad (or other keys).

Support for localizations (Curvy 3D in other languages)

Curvy 3D in other languages would be great, wouldn't it? :-)

Set tool size based on last size

To change the tool size you have to Ctrl + drag left mouse button. Please make it possible to set the tool sized based on the last size given to the tool. Now it's that you start always with smallest size. This is very inconvenient when you want to change the tool size only a bit, especially for already large tool sizes.

Better rotation tool handle

Image

The rotation and scale widgets may get confused since they are of similar shape: little boxes at the end of the widget handles. I'd like to propose a rotation widget with handles round and shaped like an arc to represent the circles they revolve around.

Bounding boxes

I'd like to see an option to turn bounding boxes on and off. I think bounding boxes are useful to position objects in relation to other objects. They also give a better image of the total size of the object.

Metaballs? :-)

Image

Some love for metaballs (...cubes, ...cylinders, ...objects) maybe? A modeling concept a little bit unpopular these days, but nevertheless very useful sometimes since metaballs provide a simple and powerful solution for making organic shapes - exactly what Curvy 3D already provides with curves. I think that metaballs are a great addition to Curvy 3D.
-best wishes, Funken
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Simon » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:05 pm

Shortcuts for different views YES As well as configurable shortcuts to any generic UI control.

Support for localizations (Curvy 3D in other languages) Wishlist I'll bear it in mind when I rewrite the UI. It may just appear as a convenient side-effect to the rewrite. A big issue for localisation is the difference in size and length of words/phrases... but with a fully scalable UI that wouldn't be so much of a barrier.

Set tool size based on last size MAYBE This is an interesting change! How does it work if you have a huge brush and want to make a small size afterwards?

Better rotation tool handle YES I have added fixed angle rotations, and want to somehow (simply) add different pivot points for rotation/scale.

Bounding boxes YES I already have these, simple enough to render them out on an option. It is certainly useful to use to "see through" other objects.

Metaballs? :-) NO Well, the existing Voxel Merge code produces a Metaball style mesh, so Curvy kind of does this effect already. And to be fair now there are cleaner options I rarely use the Voxel Merge.
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Funken » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:40 pm

Tool end cap variations

Now, tool ends can be flat or open. Let’s introduce some flexibility here: it should be possible to cap tool ends in different shapes (open, flat, buldged, sphere, custom based on a curve profile and so on).

Image

World axis widget

A little widget in one of the corners of the 3d viewport to help understand navigation and orientation in the 3d space.

Image

Curves with custom colors

This may be useful if an object group has a lot of complex geometry based on lots of curves.

Curve saving to groups list

The ability to draw curves individually without the need to create an actual object. It should also be possible to store individual curves in the groups list. I wished Curvy 3D was a bit more flexible in this regard.

Duplicate on curve

Image

Tabs to work with multiple scenes in only one instance

No more need to open multiple instances of Curvy 3D.

Coordinates panel

To position objects precisely based on certain values.

Move/Rotate/Scale properties panel

To control movement/rotation/scaling operations precisely based on certain values.
-best wishes, Funken
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Funken » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:41 pm

Text tool

Curvy 3D needs a tool to create editable text.

Auto-remesh region after change

Some sculpting operations (like Drag and Add) may lead to a heavily distorted mesh with poor and jagged geometry. My idea is to introduce a kind of auto-remeshing operation which re-draws the changed part of the geometry after each stroke so the polys of the mesh are evenly distributed.

Image

Mesh improvement for blob objects

In some cases, the geometry of a blob object doesn’t follow its outline curve well which leads to a jagged contour of the blob. Maybe you can improve this.

Image

Local smooth for curves

So, with shortcut “S” you can smooth curves, but only globally. Some “local smooth” functionality for curves would be nice. For meshes there already is local smooth by Shift+dragging a sculp tool.

New brushes I'd like to see in Curvy 3D: Smear, Fill, Scratch

Smear: Great for making objects that should appear fluid, cloth-like, soft and so on.

Image

Fill: Would be a great companion to your Groove Brush.

Image

Scratches: Applies some “wear and tear” to objects. Makes them more vivid and realistic.

Image

I hope I don't stress you too much with all my ideas I write down here. Also, I'd like to excuse my bad English. I know it's not the best, but I try at least my best so that you still understand what I mean.
-best wishes, Funken
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Re: My proposals for Curvy 3D 4.0

Postby Simon » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:04 pm

Thanks for the new ideas - they are very welcome :D I love the GIFs too, very helpful!

Tool end cap variations MAYBE Some of this will come "for free" with the unification of the primitives.

World axis widget YES More commands will rely on the old X Y Z (like translation & rotation type ins) so it will be handy to have a reminder. I already colour the grid axes like this when rotating the view so it fits in.

Curves with custom colors DONE
Curve saving to groups list DONE There has a been a "Curves" primitive for a while, but it never made the Beta. I've re-enabled it and started using it as part of commands that take an extra curve as input. These Curves have custom colours - but there is no reasom ALL curves can't have a colour. I just need to make sure that it looks different when selected somehow...

Duplicate on curve YES I love this one! I can also imagine options rotate to follow the curve and to use 2 curves to control complex rotations too.

Tabs to work with multiple scenes in only one instance MAYBE The "Layers" System was always meant to let you split up and work on stuff separately, but it was never easy to use. Doing something similar but with Tabs might be interesting.

Coordinates panel PROBABALY I want a type in transform box, so I guess this will be part of that.
Move/Rotate/Scale properties panel YES

Text tool NO I'm happy with importing SVG text for now.

Auto-remesh region after change DONE? If you have a Dynamic Mesh, rather than a Quad Mesh the move and rotate tools subdivide the surface before working - leaving a smooth distortion.

Mesh improvement for blob objects WISHLIST With the UI upgrade I will be able to add some parameters to help control the Blob mesh, but it's not a priority.

Local smooth for curves YES Love this idea, and it can use the same tool as for mesh smooth. Interesting to consider some of the other tools as curve tools. Flatten, Polish, Pinch would all be cool.

New brushes I'd like to see in Curvy 3D: Smear, Fill, Scratch YES, YES, MAYBE
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