control points, splines and patches reference done

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control points, splines and patches reference done

Postby Torf » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:14 pm

The reference page about control points, splines and patches is finished. It contains a general definition of those terms and explanations on the tools to operate on them. Additionally there's information about patch alignment, hooks and tangents. Please feel free to add/remove/modify as you wish.

I'm not 100% sure about the style the whole thing is written in: It's not a pure reference, because I tried to motivate the concepts on the way (e.g. which problem hooks come to solve). Personally I like that, because IMO a pure reference is only of use for experienced users who have already understood the underlying principle of patch modelling. My text aims more at the new users, which have never done any patch modelling before (like me when I started this not so long ago :wink:). Of course it shouldn't become a tutorial either, but I think I got the separation right - the reference is about the theoretical stuff, tutorials are for getting things done (being a mathematics student I know why I started with the reference :lol:). How's your opinion on that?

Slowly but surely I'm running out of topics where I feel I have enough knowledge to actually write a reference. GUI and selections will be no problem, but I really do think someone else should write that bones/morphs/animation tools part (perhaps some who has actually used all this stuff :wink:). Personally I'd like to focus a bit more on modelling again, trying to improve my skills (that's really, really necessary :shock:) and write some tutorials on the way.
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Postby pndragon » Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:31 pm

Very, very nice and clear!!!

--- Jim
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Postby sascha » Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:19 pm

I like it, IMHO it's very well written and structured.

Two notes:
In the chapter about hooks you write
Torf wrote:There are some restrictions when working with hooks: First of all, only an end point of a spline can be hooked into another spline, and it’s not possible to hook two or more splines into the same single hook point.

I wouldn't call that a restriction. I mean, as soon as you have to "hook" a second spline-end to an existing hook, the hook itself isn't needed anymore - you can use a regular controlpoint then.

David asked for a tool that allows to change a hook into a regular controlpoint, and I even implemented it :!: :) before I started to rewrite all the "edits" - so it's disabled now, but I'll re-enable it soon.

The other thing concerns the illustrations. I think they are nice and very useful, but some of the graphics look like they have been scaled in an image manipulating program and show artifacts - this way small features are difficult to see. I agree that it makes sense to magnify some screenshots to e.g. focus on the different colors or shapes of the controlpoints - but in this case I'd use e.g. a 2:1 or 4:1 magnification without any filtering (so that pixels are large squares), and leave the other screenshots 1:1 In the hooks illustration for eample, it's nearly impossible to distinct between a regular cp and a hook.

About documenting animation features: I think it's a bit too early. Ok, it's never too early, but I wouldn't write any long explainations of features that have a high possibility to change a lot within the next few weeks.
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Postby dcuny » Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:12 pm

Torf wrote:The reference page about control points, splines and patches is finished.
Nice work!. I suspect the bit on adjusting tangents needs a bit of detail on why that can cause problems during animation. Also, there should be some discussion on five point patches.

Yeah, I know: it's a Wiki, so I can just add it myself. ;)

Sascha wrote:David asked for a tool that allows to change a hook into a regular controlpoint, and I even implemented it...
I'm looking forward to this feature, because I'm a really sloppy modeler, doing stuff ad hoc. I'll find myself painted into a corner and need a hook to get out, then find that I need to change the hook into a regular control point because I really should have added another long spline when I built the model. So it'll be really helpful. :D
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Postby Torf » Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:23 pm

sascha wrote:In the chapter about hooks you write
[...]
I wouldn't call that a restriction. I mean, as soon as you have to "hook" a second spline-end to an existing hook, the hook itself isn't needed anymore - you can use a regular controlpoint then.

Well. Yes. Didn't think about that :)

The other thing concerns the illustrations. I think they are nice and very useful, but some of the graphics look like they have been scaled in an image manipulating program and show artifacts - this way small features are difficult to see.

I know what you mean. As illustrations (circles, arrows, etc.) are hard to do in Gimp I did them in Inkscape, after importing the screenshot. Now Inkscape is a vector drawing program and it seems it doesn't handle export of imported pixel data so nice (or I messed up the settings :lol:). Not sure what would be the best way to solve this, though. Suggestions?

About documenting animation features: I think it's a bit too early. Ok, it's never too early, but I wouldn't write any long explainations of features that have a high possibility to change a lot within the next few weeks.

That's right of course. Even some of the parts I wrote will have to be changed again (e.g. renaming "Add Point tool" to "Add Curve tool" or whatever it's currently called). I just wanted to make clear that I'm most probably not going to write those parts, and that I think them to be pretty important (if not crucial). Participation in the JDP has been low, but I'm not blaming anybody here (Even I as the "starter" contribute not all too much :)). But perhaps it's just me after all, waiting for a good explanation of all that stuff :wink:

dcuny wrote:Yeah, I know: it's a Wiki, so I can just add it myself. :wink:

Yep, couldn't have said it better :P
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Postby sascha » Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:09 pm

Participation in the JDP has been low, but I'm not blaming anybody here

Yeah, I'm feeling a bit guilty :)
But I will add some sections about the new animation features as soon as they are ready.
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