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Proposal for better painting and depth management

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Proposal for better painting and depth management

 

Hi friends.

 

Here is my proposal for future 3D-Coat versions. Andrew, please read it carefully. If you or someone else has problems with my idea, then write your arguments here. I think my proposal will solve a lot of understanding problems for artists and is much easier to control.

 

Additional infos: This system is focused on the paint area. There may be some conflicts in the sculting area. But I don't see some currently.

 

So, what do you think about it?

 

Or should I create an individual thread for this topic?

 

3dc_newdepth.jpg

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Digman and I were just talking about the LLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG-time problem of 3D Coat using very degraded/pixelated brush alphas when painting or sculpting. I was never fully aware of the severity of the problem until another 3D Coat user asked me about it. I proceeded to record a video on how to make it work properly, but the resolution is nothing more than a cheap hack...an unacceptable workaround. That is to say, the user HAS to take the time to apply a heavy amount of blurring to hard-edge brush alphas.

 

Why? Not because of how the mesh reacts to hard edge extrusions. It's because the INPUT...the Brush alpha is artificially/arbitrarily downgraded severely (probably something like 100x100 pixels...it's horrible), when in use. I never knew this until now. I recall Andrew saying the heavily pixelated brush alpha inside the brush radius was "just for preview." That is incorrect. Run some tests with paint tools on a UV mapped model or in the sculpt room on a very dense mesh. What you see in the brush radius is EXACTLY what it is applying to your model. When you inspect your brush alpha in Photoshop, it's fine...nice and crisp. 3D Coat creates a highly pixelated version of it to use on the model, and that is totally unacceptable for a professional application. In it's current state...it's not suitable for production use, when the user has to go out of their way to mitigate a problem 3D Coat creates. It's not even acceptable for a hobbiest application.

 

This needs to get fixed STAT. 3D Coat is otherwise a much better application than this, and is being brought low by this problem.

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Hi Don. Thank you for the video. I can reproduce the problems you have in the paint room and think I have a workaround for you here and a possible answer for the problems.

 

See my attachment about this. I used a stamp with some of the delivered images. In my example the results are sharp/smooth like butter and how I expect them.

 

But I guess I know now why smaller brush tips begin to be jaggy. It is very easy... 3D-Coat use mipmaps while scaling the stamp image and use the mipmap state to project the brush instead of the origin brush image. Thats all... and a NO GO! This does not happen, when you use a regular brush like the constant pressure tip. There you will get a nice sharp image. You can reproduce this. 

 

Do me a favor and do the following:

1. Go into the paint room and start with a per pixel plane object. Texture size min 2k, better 4k to be shure.

2. Use a very high resoluted brush tip. Your screw for example.

3. And now use the stamp tool and move it slowly from big to small and back. Don't release the mouse button while observing.

 

What you will see:
The brush image swaps between the mipmaps. Create a stamp now, with a small but visible radius.

 

And now use a different brush than the stamp for the very same small brush radius. And voila! All looks great.

 

This is something that can not be done in a painting tool like 3D-Coat and is one if not the only reason why we have jaggy small stamps and sharp big stamps...

 

I am shure the same happens in the sculpt room too.

 

EDIT: Updated the attached images. The 2nd image shows two projections, both has the same radius! The right one is a stamp. The results are positioned side by side on the same texture.

post-955-0-43919400-1453303794_thumb.jpg

post-955-0-14275300-1453306214_thumb.jpg

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Well done video, guys! Looks to me an easy programming fix if all that's needed is a call for a better image. The one you were using may have been 64X64.

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Well done video, guys! Looks to me an easy programming fix if all that's needed is a call for a better image. The one you were using may have been 64X64.

The size of alpha saved was 1000x1000, so if it was 64x64, it was 3D Coat's doing. Others have mentioned the same problem.

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Here is a video where me and Digman demonstrate and discuss this very problem:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0RX9jd4sk5RbXJGaEQ1QXNYdGc/view

Great video. And it was nice to hear you guys. :) Very important issue was mentioned there.

 

Well done video, guys! Looks to me an easy programming fix if all that's needed is a call for a better image. The one you were using may have been 64X64.

I have to disagree with you Tony. To me it looks like a quite complex issue to fix. I don't think it's something that could be done overnight. But knowing Andrew's superpowers, who knows? :)

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I always wondered why sculpting with my custom hires alphas (2048px2) returned such poor results. Mostly - pixelation of the surface. It was up to a point where using completely different alphas resulted in very similar (almost indistinguishable) results on a very high-res mesh. By looking at the geometrical resolution of the surface, and the resolution of the brush alpha, you would never think that it was sculpted with that specific brush alpha.

---

Argh! I was doing some tests with stamp brush alphas and 3D-Coat crashed (right after it corrupted the mesh):

post-12523-0-36321400-1453342096_thumb.j

Edited by ajz3d

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@Taros

My suggestion... Simply reverse the order... 

1. When unlocked, the brush radius has no effect on depth. This would become the default.

    Locking the depth icon would sync the brush radius to depth, currently the default. That makes logical sense.

2. Add the word "Additive" or in other words building up strokes under "Depth" with a selection box, remove it under the Blue depth icon. Placing it where an artist can see "additive" makes better sense.

The above would be easier to code, I believe...

 

At times it is nice to be able to change your "Fill" depth and radius size. My suggestion, a selection box where you can sync and un-sync the radius and depth input in the fill tool panel.

 

The problem with the material depth being set to the top panel depth is that the smart material depth is the precentage of the top panel depth.

50% in the top panel and the smart material set to 100% means that your are painting at 50% depth. 

 

If your smart material was set to 50%, and the top panel depth set at 50%, then you are painting at 25% depth for the smart material.

Andrew would have to recode how smart materials function, which is what your feature request is asking but hey that is what a feature request is...  :)

Presently all smart materials should be created with 100% depth in the top panel and the amount of percentage of that depth set in the smart materials editor.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

AbnRanger's and Digman's video...

The alpha problem has been around for a long time... Blurring and other workarounds are not good for solid workflows... Texture maps for rendering and games have increase in resolution. The ability to stamp clean sharp alphas is now more important than ever...

Edited by digman

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And I agree with Taros too. Having depth being influenced by brush radius seems rather strange.

Although I must admit that I have never noticed this, even despite having the lock icon - unlocked. I guess I just never paid too much attention to it and accepted things "as they are". :)

 

IMHO depth in a sculpt room, should show the maximum distance in units (this should depend on scene scale, etc.) instead of depending on abstracted percentages . So brush alpha's white colour would be equal to whatever the depth is set to, meaning - with 2.0 depth, and a scale of one 3D-Coat unit being one centimetre, by brushing with a pure white alpha you'd make a stroke 2-centimetre deep. (It's just a suggestion that would require a test run to check if it would work. I'm not sure myself about this, until I'd be able to test it).

Edited by ajz3d

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@ Taros and ajz3D... Well if you old time users did not notice or read the tool tip by hovering over the lock icon, Yepper it needs to be changed...  ;)

The poor lost new users would be hopelessly out of the water...

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:)

The point is not to read the tooltip. The problem about painting is something fundamental.

 

Andrew had no time to improve the paint abilities in detail for last 4 or 5 years. The main focus was to develop the sculpting process, the retopo part and some elements for managing UVs. That is ok.

 

Now it is about time for improving the painting functionality. Andrew actually announced to concentrate to the paint abilities now. I see the chance to help in this process.

 

Believe me, the current philosophy is chaotic. It works the most time, but there are too much elements effecting each other in the background. The user does not realise all this linked functions and need a lot of time to understand this complex system.

 

What I could live with is the following:

- Let the todays "locked" mode be the default for depth.

- Don't use % value in the depth info. Values with two decimal places instead and equal to the pen radius. (1,00)

The only difference is to be able to set the depth values negative.

- Let lock the pen radius with the depth optionally. So if someone set a radius from 1 to 7,5 then the depth moves to 7,5 too. This is more understandable.

- Do not influence the fill depth by the pen radius! It makes no sense.

- Set the top bar values and the texture projection for the current tool to the materials settings as soon as someone clicks on a smart material . If the user change the top bar while a smart material is active, then ok. As soon as the user clicks again, the top bar will be set to the smart material settings. I create a smart material library because I want to reuse my settings and not wonder why suddenly my material is acting strange.

 

This would make the system much better for the users, don't you think so?

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About linked functions... could i add a feature request too ?

0001629: Brush, Stroke & Strips Option

attachicon.gifBrush Stroke & Strips Option.jpg

Nice idea Carlos. I like it. The currently used image will be always highlighted and shown. If there is no image used, it could be greyed out or show a cross over it.

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Yep, alphas in 3DC have always had a quality issue. Actually the brush engine in general in 3DC is very limited compared to its competition.

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Affect Depth Modulator settings in any way this proposal ?
post-10142-0-79008700-1453596505_thumb.j
 
Andrew reply help ?

There is LOCK icon on the top to keep absolute depth of carving independent on pen radius.
By default the depth is some % of pen radius, so changing pen radius leads to changing depth. LOCK solves this.

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Affect Depth Modulator settings in any way this proposal ?

attachicon.gifDepth.jpg

 

Andrew reply help ?

 

Very nice (dark humor). Another option to influence a saved smart material depth in your library.

 

The modulator option is nice to have for a pen but not good if you are using "fill tool" for smart materials.

 

Here is a list which elements influence the fill tool depth when just trying to fill with a smart material:

1) Header bar: Fill radius

2) Header bar: Depth value in %

3) Brush options: Depth modulator

4) Smart Material editor settings: Depth in %

5) Smart Material editor settings: Used depth image texture

 

All this options have influence to a saved smart material in your library.

 

Another argument for me so reset all this settings to the saved smart material settings. What you do afterward a click on a smart material is your decision. But the options should be always reset to the save state of the smart material when activated.

 

I can not say it often enough guys.

 

Best wishes

Chris

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elements influence the fill tool depth

 

Sorry i forgot another set on Preferences

> Brush Sensitivity

post-10142-0-84360500-1453730021_thumb.j

 

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I am pretty much in agreement with Taros...

 

Lock depth by default. We both said the same thing in our postings. I just had added when we use the lock icon, it would sync the brush radius to depth. Opposite of what it is now. The lock icon when loading 3DC still would be in the unlock position but by default the depth is no longer effected by your brush radius.

 

Fill Tool... Your depth setting should be the only factor in the fill tool and not effected by the brush radius, unless you have locked the depth to brush radius (currently our default). 

The above would make it easier for the artist as not so many factors to control unless the artist desired to add more influences effecting the brush.

 

Smart Material Reset is a good idea on the most part. At times though you are using the same smart material a few times, not just once in a setting. Sometimes you select another smart material, then come back to the other one you were using. Auto resetting the material would mean that you would have to again adjust all your changed settings.

Adding a way to reset the smart material and the top panel settings to the ones used when the material was created is a good idea... I think though it needs to be a artist's decision when to reset and not auto done.

Edited by digman

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About resetting all settings to the saved SM (Smart Material) settings:

 

This is something really interesting and should be discussed.

In my opintion it is less problematic to reset all settings than keep them. But you are right, a small checkbox in the header would help to control this. Lets say it would be named "Keep tool settings". If this option is checked (not by default!) then a SM will be influenced by the current brush settings. But in my opinion a brush radius should never influence a depth value. As I explained in my first posts. It is just a paint area for me.

 

But we should never forget:

Nearly every current tool set can be saved in the Presets window, brushes in combination with SM too. So there is always a way for the user to save the most used situations although a SM set the current values anew.

 

Best wishes

Chris

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Here is a video where me and Digman demonstrate and discuss this very problem:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0RX9jd4sk5RbXJGaEQ1QXNYdGc/view

 

Good video guys! I agree wholeheartedly :)

Do you know if this is listed in the trello feature request document so that I can vote for it? Can't seem to find it, though I'm not quite sure what it would be called.

 

https://trello.com/b/vniMPy5o/3d-coat-roadmap

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