DMesh - Change History


DMesh: Musculature Based Organic Modeling

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Official release of version 1.00
(November 1st, 2000)

Undo was implemented for the Grid view, and several enhancements added to the drawing and creation of displacemant images. Minor adjustments were made to the menu and toolbar layout and wording. The OBJ export routines were enhanced with a number of new options.


GUI enhancements and extensions ( Version 0.99a changes - Aug, 2000)
 

3D Preview


Grid view


MDL GUI

Layer Editing Speed Increase

The removal of a number of internal debugging routines for synchronizing layer changes has resulted in speed increases of 200% to 600% for certain operations. This is most significant when working within layers containing a large number of items, (such as a typical hair layer), or when working with upper levels within a model with a large number of active layers, (such as a typical head model.) The previous debug routines contained a number of memory tracking and validation routines that resulted in the rebuilding of more items than was strictly necessary.

Please note that this speed increase is restricted to changes made to specific items using either the Grid or MDL-Item views. Changes made through the application main menu items, (i.e. the Object:DefineLayers or Object:ModifyItems menu selection's,) will revert to the previous implementation. Adding or deleting items will also revert to the previous implementation, as this is the area most prone to memory allocation errors. Obviously, modifying items in lower layer's will require higher level items to be recalculated, so this task will not benefit as much and will likely be near the low end of the scale depending upon the number of intervening layer's.

As always, this is a beta release, and care should be taken. A great deal of testing has gone into ensuring that these revisions are crash proof, but saving your work often is a prudent and frustration saving measure.

RIB Export Plugin Enhancements




GUI enhancements and extensions ( Version 0.9.8z4 changes - July, 2000)

3D Preview

MegaPOV and POV-Ray 3.5 "mesh2" Export Plugin Enhancements MDL Gui view Displacement Image View Miscellaneous Changes Anti-aliasing

For those unfamiliar with the full meaning of anti-aliasing, it refers to the removal or softening of jagged edges surrounding computer drawn objects. These result from the relatively large size of pixels on most consumer computer monitor's, and are most noticeable where two neighboring pixels have highly contrasting colors. When this high contrast area continues for any distance, such as along the edge of an object, it becomes very noticeable to the human eye as a jagged line, and hence is commonly referred to as 'the jaggies'.

Anti-aliasing then, attempts to soften this jagged line by reducing the contrast between the neighboring pixels, and thereby create a smoother transition. It is in no way an exact science, but the results are much more pleasing to the eye. All technical details aside, the best way to understand the effect is to view it in action.

When DMesh first starts, the default object is a simple cylinder, and the 'jaggies' effect will likely be noticeable at the top and bottom of the cylinder. Right-click in the Preview window, and select RenderOptions from the menu. Click the Anti-Aliasing check box to turn it on, then click the OK button. The status bar will display the current anti-alias frame being drawn, and once done, the object will be redrawn. The jaggies should be much less pronounced now.

The results are much more noticeable if you turn anti-aliasing off, then pick a nice bright pink background (by using the Properties-Viewport menu item.) The 'jaggies' should be much more pronounced, and even more so if you slightly rotate the object in the x direction. Then turn anti-aliasing back on, and the difference will be much more obvious.

The default of 8 (eight) anti-aliasing passes generally produces decent results, but you can change the number from the RenderOptions dialog box. Setting it to 2 (two) will be much faster, but provides less anti-aliasing, while larger values provide better results but take longer.

As a final note, it is probably best to leave this option turned off during basic modelling activities. When creating or modifying items, the additional drawing passes will result in slower updates. Once these activites are complete, and you wish to capture the image and/or a few frames, then anti-aliasing can be turned on for the final image capture.

Global uv coordinates vs Local Item coordinates:

Individual DMesh items (ie a single strand of hair, an eyebrow, an eyelid, etc) contain their own 'local' uv coordinates. So v will range from 0.00 at the bottom of the hair to 1.00 at the top. Similarly, u ranges from 0.00 to 1.00 across the hair, and is stretched or squished to fit the actual width of the object, which is also dependant upon where, or how far along the hair you are. These are the item-based uv coordinates.

These local item uv's are/can be converted to global coordinates, representing where they rest on the overall object. As an example, consider a hair with it's lower end at roughly the jaw line, and it's other end at the top of the head. In local item uv coordinates then, v=0.00 would be at the lower end of the hair and progress to1.00 at the upper end. In global uv space, the lower end of the hair would be at roughly v=0.25, since the jaw is part way up the overall face object. Same for the u component, which would range from 0.00 to 1.00 within the span of the hair, but would cover some fairly small span of u values in global uv space.

Please note that item-based uv coordinate directions are reliant on the type of item. For verticle items, v ranges from 0.00 at the bottom to 1.00 at the top, while u progresses from left to right. For horizontal muscles, u and v are reversed, so that v goes from left to right, and u goes from bottom to top. Basically, the idea is that v follows the 'direction' of the item, and u progresses 'across' the item. For point muscle, v goes 'around' the object, and u increases from the middle of the item to the outer edge.


GUI enhancements and extensions ( Version 0.9.8y3 changes - June, 2000)

3D Preview

MDL GUI view enhancements UV-Map / Grid View Two new plugin shapes have been added to the standard cone, sphere, plane and disc shapes. These are experimental at the moment, so any comments would be appreciated. Miscellaneous Changes Known Bugs Known Inconsistencies

GUI enhancements and extensions ( Version 0.9.8w4 changes - May, 2000)

User Definable Texture Additions

3D Preview Capturing Additions Background Images for the 3D Preview MDL GUI view enhancements
MDL GUI Keyboard Shortcuts
Insert  Insert's points after each selected point 
Delete  Deletes all selected points 
(The following refer to the keys on the Number Pad) 
[+] and [Ctrl][+]  Increments the current displacement amount or position for all selected points 
[-] and [Ctrl][-]  Decrements the current displacement amount or position for all selected points 
[*] and [Ctrl][*]  Spreads the selected points towards the ends of the curve 
[/] and [Ctrl][/]  Shrinks the selected points towards the middle of the curve 
When used alone, the above keys will move the selected point's a small amount. To move the points in larger steps, hold down the [Ctrl] key while pressing the desired key. 
Extended MDL GUI Keyboard Shortcuts
Home  Selects the highest or right-most control point on the current line 
Shift-Home  Extended selection from the lowest currently selected point to the end of the line 
End  Selects the lowest or left-most control point on the current line 
Shift-End  Extended selection of all control points from the beginning of the line to the highest currently selected point. 
Ctrl Home/End  Reverses the selection state of all control points 
PageUp  Shifts the control point selection state towards the top or right 
PageDown  Shifts the control point selection state towards the bottom or left 

OpenGL style image-based Texture Maps

OpenGL places some stringent limitations on the dimensions of images that are to be used for texture maps. The images MUST have the dimensions x = 2^n, y = 2^m, where ^ means 'to the power of' and n and m are integer's. These images are therefore restricted to x and y dimensions of 2, 4, 8, ..., 64, 128, 256, etc. It is possible to use different dimensions for x and y (i.e. 64x256, 256x128, ...) although this may result in OpenGL reverting to sotware-only mode depending on the 3D acceleration hardware you are using.

If the dimensions of your desired background image don't fit these requirements, then you need to set the image background type as PixelMap, (you will be asked to if you have not.) For un-accelerated systems, the PixelMap setting is generally faster than software texture mapping, so this may be preferable in either case. However, the pixel interpolation is not as smooth using this setting, so the TextureMap setting and properly sized image maps are preferable for capturing purposes.

(Note: OpenGL Texture Mapping is currently available only for background images.)


GUI enhancements and extensions ( Version 0.9.8w4 changes - May, 2000)

User Definable Texture Additions

3D Preview Capturing Additions Background Images for the 3D Preview MDL GUI view enhancements
MDL GUI Keyboard Shortcuts
Insert  Insert's points after each selected point 
Delete  Deletes all selected points 
(The following refer to the keys on the Number Pad) 
[+] and [Ctrl][+]  Increments the current displacement amount or position for all selected points 
[-] and [Ctrl][-]  Decrements the current displacement amount or position for all selected points 
[*] and [Ctrl][*]  Spreads the selected points towards the ends of the curve 
[/] and [Ctrl][/]  Shrinks the selected points towards the middle of the curve 
When used alone, the above keys will move the selected point's a small amount. To move the points in larger steps, hold down the [Ctrl] key while pressing the desired key. 
Extended MDL GUI Keyboard Shortcuts
Home  Selects the highest or right-most control point on the current line 
Shift-Home  Extended selection from the lowest currently selected point to the end of the line 
End  Selects the lowest or left-most control point on the current line 
Shift-End  Extended selection of all control points from the beginning of the line to the highest currently selected point. 
Ctrl Home/End  Reverses the selection state of all control points 
PageUp  Shifts the control point selection state towards the top or right 
PageDown  Shifts the control point selection state towards the bottom or left 

OpenGL style image-based Texture Maps

OpenGL places some stringent limitations on the dimensions of images that are to be used for texture maps. The images MUST have the dimensions x = 2^n, y = 2^m, where ^ means 'to the power of' and n and m are integer's. These images are therefore restricted to x and y dimensions of 2, 4, 8, ..., 64, 128, 256, etc. It is possible to use different dimensions for x and y (i.e. 64x256, 256x128, ...) although this may result in OpenGL reverting to sotware-only mode depending on the 3D acceleration hardware you are using.

If the dimensions of your desired background image don't fit these requirements, then you need to set the image background type as PixelMap, (you will be asked to if you have not.) For un-accelerated systems, the PixelMap setting is generally faster than software texture mapping, so this may be preferable in either case. However, the pixel interpolation is not as smooth using this setting, so the TextureMap setting and properly sized image maps are preferable for capturing purposes.

(Note: OpenGL Texture Mapping is currently available only for background images.)


GUI enhancements and extensions ( Version 0.9.8v changes - May, 2000)

MDL manual edit window

MDL GUI view enhancements
MDL GUI Keyboard Shortcuts
Insert  Insert's points after each selected point 
Delete  Delta's all selected points 
(The following refer to the keys on the Number Pad) 
[+] and [Ctrl][+]  Increments the current displacement amount or position for all selected points 
[-] and [Ctrl][-]  Decrements the current displacement amount or position for all selected points 
[*] and [Ctrl][*]  Spreads the selected points towards the ends of the curve 
[/] and [Ctrl][/]  Shrinks the selected points towards the middle of the curve 
When used alone, the above keys will move the selected point's a small amount. To move the points in larger steps, hold down the [Ctrl] key while pressing the desired key. 

Miscellaneous Changes

Specific Feedback Questions

The above method for inserting points (and for spreading or shrinking them,) might be considered non-standard by those familiar with other 3D packages. This particular implementation was decided upon as being the most representative of common usage requirements for very experienced DMesh user's. However, people less familiar may find them inconsistent and/or difficult to remember. If so, please don't hesitate to offer your comments - additional options will be added where required.


GUI Enhancements and Extensions

(Version 0.9.8s - released Mar, 2000)

This release contains enhancements to various components of the existing GUI editing capabilities.

UV Map Keyboard shortcuts
Tab and Shift-Tab  Select the Next or Previous currently displayed item 
Home and End  Select First or Last item in the same layer as the current selection 
Ctrl-Home and Ctrl-End  Select Very First or Very Last item being displayed 
PageUp  Move to the Previous Layer 
Page Down  Move to the Next Layer 

GUI enhancements and extensions

( Version 0.9.8e changes - Jan, 2000)

The main feature of this release is the addition of the first phase of the item GUI editing features. This allows for modifying the item curve definitions by click-and-dragging their control points using the mouse. This is the first implementation, and so still has some limitations. All of the previous manual editing options are still available if you find the need (or desire,) for certain cases. Please see the Limitations section below, as this is meant to be an interim release, and additional enhancements will be provided in future version's.

DMesh GUI enhancements and extensions. Added a preliminary mouse-based GUI editor for curve and item definitions using a split window view based somewhat loosely on the existing curve editing window.

Miscellaneous Revisions Limitations: Hints: The curves do not always pass exactly through the control points. Setting the curve indexing type to X will cause the curve to always pass directly through the points. This also allows the curve to contain discontinuous or 'sharp' bends!

Accessing and Using the new GUI features.


Moray/UDO export Options Added
( Version 0.9.7c changes - Jan, 2000)

The main feature of this release is the addition of the Moray/udo export option for POVRay user's. The main menu now contains a single export option for use with both POVRay 3.1 and MegaPOV. From the following dialog, you can specify whether to use the basic POVRay mesh constructs, or the mesh2 extensions as supported by MegaPOV. For either structure, you can also include a Moray/udo file by selecting the Include Moray/UDO checkbox.

( Version 0.9.7b changes - Jan, 2000)

In addition, a bug in the image map handling for 16 bit image maps was found and resulted in a few additional revisions. Although this release was originally intended only to contain the Moray/UDO options, the revisions to the image map handling also required some of the preliminary components of the mouse dragging/editing portions for the curve edit view to be included. These curve editing features have not been extensively tested, and can produce inconsistent results in some cases. However, they should illustrate the direction of current development efforts.

( Version 0.9.7c changes - Jan, 2000)


Media Point Cloud Version
( Version 0.9.6b changes - Dec, 1999)

The main feature of this release is the addition of a Point Cloud export option, for use with POV-Ray Media features. The export option converts the current model to a voxel format, and exports for use as POV-Ray density files in the df3 format.

Additional Minor Changes


Version 0.9.5g changes - Dec, 1999
Known Bugs:

DMesh GUI - Phase I C+

Version's 0.9.4a - e and versions 0.9.5a - f were not released. See the above 0.9.5g information for a list off all changes that occurred in these revisions.


DMesh GUI - Phase I B ( Version 0.9.3c Nov, 1999)

Known Bugs: Specific Feedback Questions

DMesh GUI - Phase I Release ( Version 0.9.2c Nov, 1999)

This is Phase I of the GUI version of DMesh. There are a large number of unimplemented features, as well as some very obvious needed enhancements. This version is being released only as an indication of the overall layout of the GUI version. Comments regarding the general layout would of course be extremely welcome. There are no known bugs of the crash-and-burn variety, (but see limitations below,) - if you encounter one, PLEASE try to detail how it occurred.

What's New:

Limitations: Specific Feedback Questions:

Second General Public Release ( Version 0.8.7c Sept 15, 1999)

What's New:


First General Public Release ( Version 0.8.5 Aug 15, 1999)

What's New:


Version 0.8.5alpha July 15, 1999

What's New:

Bug Fixes: New Bugs:

Version 0.7.7a June 11, 1999

What's New: (Pre-Beta version 0.7.7 - June 11, 1999)

Bug Fixes: New Bugs:

Version 0.6.3a May 22, 1999