New Name for JPatch?

General discussion about JPatch

New Name for JPatch?

Postby dcuny » Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:01 pm

With the addition of subdivision surfaces, it looks like JPatch is moving away from Hash-style splines. Perhaps a name change would be appropriate?

There are a couple routes that could be taken here:
  • Keep the name. Why change a good thing?
  • Pick something meaningful. A:M used to be called "Playmation" when they were distributed via Will Vinton Studios (a play on the name "Claymation", also copyright Will Vinton Studios). An interesting side note - Will Vinton was forced out a number of years ago, and sued to get his name back. The studio has a new name, "Laika Entertainment House", with Will Vinton now using "Will Vinton's Freewill Entertainment".

    Of course, there's the question of what qualities the name should focus on. "RenderMan" is a good example. The suffix "animation" is used by a number of popular programs - "Animation:Master", "Anim8or", "messiah:animator".
  • Abstract names. For example, "Reflex", "Art of Illusion", or "Sunflow".
I tend to go with abstract names myself ("Inyo"), because "all the good names have been taken." For example, "digital puppetry" (although JPatch isn't really a "puppetry" application).

But I think a clever functional name is a better approach, especially if it can capture the essense of the program.

To me, the essense of JPatch (or what I'd like it to be) is character animation. What (hopefully) sets it apart is logical workflow. So a couple words along those lines I ripped off from the DigitalFish website:
  • Workflow
  • Pipeline
  • Leverage
  • Flex
  • Poses
  • Timing
  • Arcs
  • Spacing
  • Playblast
  • Motion
  • Paths
  • Principles
  • Focus
  • Flexible
This leads to stuff like "Animation:Pipeline". Now we're buzzword compliant! Yay! ;)
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Postby sascha » Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:12 pm

Since it will be based on subdivision surfaces it could have a reference to that in its name as well.

The <insertnewnameforjpatchhere>.org domian should be available.
And the name should not be a reference to other 3D software products, like "Ayam" or "Atztec", for example (referencing to Maya is exceptionally inventive ;-) )
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Postby dcuny » Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:01 am

I never noticed that "Ayam" was "Maya" backwards. Heh.

You could name it "Teapot" after the Utah Teapot. You'd have a mascot, too.

Image

Or call it "Newall" after the guy who had the teapot in the first place. Ooops, that's taken. warty.com seems to be free. So does ledinsky.com.

I need to give this a lot more thought... :?
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Postby rjh » Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:11 pm

Hey Guys,

OK ... I guess I'll jump in now and provide my 2 cents worth. I think that Jpatch should be retained as the name, or at least as a root for the name. For example:

Janipatch
Jpatchimation

And what's with doing away with the spline modeler ?!?!??? That is the reason i attached myself (like a sucker fish) to this project. A brief history explaining:

sPatch and its "rib" output is what got me to try BMRT and subsiquently learn Renderman in the first place. I absolutely love patch modeling! Then I discovered Hamapatch ... you can set up scenes with camera angles and lighting and export them to rib retaining that info. Now to animate these, I chalanged the programer responsible for a "POV Tweener" program - Brian Black - to write a tweener progran for "rib tweening". He accepted the chalange and produced the program I requested in less than a week! He has since provided 2 updates with feature requests from me (specifying a name for the output and animating the camera). I have actually created a substantial amount of animation utilizing this primative method. Then came Jpatch. A wonderful gift from the 3D modeling wish gratners !!! This app does everything - modeling with splines (which includes assigning Renderman shaders to the patches you specify), rigging complex behaviors using multiple animatable morph targets, animatable lights and cameras, overlapping / blended actions ... it was like someone (Sascha) was listening to my desires for an animation application and answered them in jpatch0_4preview1. Now the posibility of bones in addition to the morph target animation ... that's exciting !! But I have not been waiting for this; i have been using jpatch0_4preview1 for everything because I can save all of the animation and the modeler retains the Renderman specific shader assignments.

Using the first "primative" method, I have just completed an animation that is showing in the Miami Short Film Festival Dec 2nd. I still have many "model sets" created for the first "primitive" method and may return to them later for further development. I curently have 5 short films nearing completion using Jpatch - one of which is complete and is having audio incorporated now. I have several dozen characters rigged and ready to go using jpatch0_4preview1.

Sooo ... back to the name thing, patch modeling, SDS, etc - I am not opposed to the SDS direction. I would, however, like to retain the option to model and animate with the spline patch modeler if that is possible. As of now, my output to rib is either Bicubic Patches or triangles depending on the complexity of the scene ... I still have not researched the BMRT crash with the 32MB triangle rib file; the Bicubic Patch output rendered fine.

Jpatch is a great application. I will be curious to see how its development progresses with these new considerations.

Rob
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Postby pndragon » Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:48 pm

I agree with Rob...

First, don't change the name. You already have some name recognition in the modeling community as Jpatch. Why start over?

Second, the spline modeler is what attracted me, too. It saddens me to think that it may lost along the wayside. Personally, I would prefer that development of the spline modeler continue side-by-side with the SDS. Perhaps letting basic model development be done with splines and then exported into the SDS modeler?

--- Jim
"We're so sorry, Uncle Albert,
But we haven't done a bloody thing all day."
--- Paul McCartney
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Postby sascha » Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:34 pm

Ok, lets put that straight :)

1. SDS vs patches

The patch modeler has caused me headaches since the day I started writing it. I have not yet decided if I will abandon it or not, it depends on how the SDS modeler works out. At the very least I'll provide means to convert JPatch patch models to JPatch SDS models (perhaps with some limitations). Right now I can't think of anything that can be done with a patch modeler but can't be done with SDS. I think SDS modeling is much easier to learn and much more powerful, just take a look at these two tutorials:

SDS head modeling tutorial
hand modeling tutorial using hierachical SDS

Altough such models can be made with JPatch's patch-modeler, it isn't that easy. I especially like the hierarchical modeling tools shown in the hand modeling tutorial - they offer a solution to the same problem as hooks do (connecting areas with high detail to areas with low detail), but in a much more intuitive way - you can start with a coarse model and then refine it by modifying vertices at higher subdivision levels.

But the main reason for switching over to SDS is that the patch modeler slows down development because I can't get it right - it still is buggy and the output, no matter if triangles or bicubic patches, is (IMHO) disappointing. Nobody will use even the best animation tool if it's not possible to create models for this tool, or if the rendered models don't look good. That's why I'll focus on SDS for the next version, once SDS is working there might be a return of the patch modeler.

So I'd suggest to defer this discussion until the SDS modeler is ready. Then we can decide wheter continuing with the patch modeler makes sense or not. It will be possible to export JPatch SDS models either directly as SDS mesh (to RenderMan) or as triangle/quad mesh (to RenderMan, POV-Ray and Inyo).

2. A name change
I also like JPatch as a name - I think at least it deserves a "1.0" release with this name :-) But nevertheless I'm open for suggestions.
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Postby dcuny » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:10 pm

While I like the JPatch name, I don't think it adequately captures the goals of the project. Back when JPatch first came out, it was described as an "open source bezier-patch modeller". I think it's safe to say that the scope has grown since that point (although Sascha's always had many of these features in mind).

I think that whatever direction (SDS, Patches, etc.) JPatch takes, any name change should stay away from describing particular technologies, and more generally describe what can be created by the program.

The biggest problem (in my mind) with the name "JPatch" is that it's the sort of name a software engineer would select (I should know, I'm one myself), and not one that reflects a vision for the tool.

Is there a particular vision for JPatch? For example, A:M used to have the motto of "one man, one computer". (I should note that even vision is subject to change. For example, A:M is now focusing on trying to collaboratively create projects, such as "The Tin Woodman of Oz").

Here's a stab at a vision for JPatch: "An easy to use tool for creating 3D character animation".

Now to find a name that says that, it 8 characters or less. ;)
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Postby pndragon » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:19 pm

While it may no longer reflect the current direction of the Jpatch Project, at some point the name may be all the remains to show the roots....

--- Jim
"We're so sorry, Uncle Albert,
But we haven't done a bloody thing all day."
--- Paul McCartney
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Postby animohn » Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:29 am

It's been a while since I posted but it'll throw my 2 cents in as well.

1st my opinion is the new direction should have a new name. I don't know what it should be but i think it should start with a “J” and should focus on the animation as opposed to the modeling, something along the lines of Janimation.

2nd it would be nice if Jpatch could be finalized with a stable 1.0 version with just the basics you have now: modeling, bones, simple FK, all the stuff that is pretty much in it now, just stable and finalized. I would also add one more feature that may or may not be an easy add and that's exporting the basic model to animation:master format, this way jpatch could be used as a free entry level to A:M, people could play with patches before buying A:M and be able to use their models later in A:M. I know their was a whole issue of not competing with A:M but if Jpatch is getting away from patches this really isn't an issue anymore.

3rd You have mentioned Wings3D as an idea on the new modeling tools but i would suggest you look at Silo http://www.nevercenter.com/ instead for some good ideas.
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Postby sascha » Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:14 am

Here's a stab at a vision for JPatch: "An easy to use tool for creating 3D character animation".


Well, my vision is to provide free tools for collaboration on real "open source" movies. So "An easy to use tool for creating 3D character animation" is milestone 1 ;-)

You have mentioned Wings3D as an idea on the new modeling tools but i would suggest you look at Silo http://www.nevercenter.com/ instead for some good ideas.


Ok, I'll have a look at it. From what I could see in the turorials it seems to be quite similar to Wings3D, of course with a polished up user-interface.
I just referred to Wings because it is free and has many of the modeling features needed for polygon modeling. What I'd like to add is Maya-like hierarchical modeling of SDS. It seems that this is neither supported by Silo nor by Wings.
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