Feature Request: Enhanced Wireframe Mode

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Spectre-7
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:07 am
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Feature Request: Enhanced Wireframe Mode

Post by Spectre-7 »

Problem:
When working on complex meshes, it's often necessary to use wireframe mode to reveal occluded features. Unfortunately, this view can be confusing, and it's sometimes difficult to discern the relationship of nearby or overlapping geometry.

Current Fix/Workaround:
The artist can use Viewport Clipping (Alt-Bkey) to prevent unwanted areas from drawing, but they lose valuable information in the process. In addition, they need to cancel and reset the clipping border when moving to other areas of the mesh. Similarly, they can Hide (Hkey) those faces which they'd prefer not to see. Hiding has similar drawbacks to Viewport Clipping.

Feature Proposal:
An alternate wireframe draw mode that changes the color of edges and vertices based on their distance from the current view (Z depth). For example, it could color nearby verts/edges red, and fade to blue as they recede into the distance.

Benefits:
-Improves the clarity of a wireframe display by increasing contextual information, rather than by masking or hiding information.
-Accomplishes the same task as Clipping (Alt-B), while requiring less input from the user.

Implementation:
The simplest interface for this feature would be to enable/disable it with a hotkey (and also a button on the viewport's header). This seems a good default behavior, however, this feature could benefit from expanded user controls, which would require a more intricate interface.

I propose a Mesh Tools 2 panel in the Buttons Window that would contain controls for the enhanced wireframe mode. Available options would include a Distance slider that controls the range over which the effect works, as well as a standard Colorband control so the user can configure/personalize the look of the effect.

Another possibility would be a toggle for a connected mode, which attenuates the colorband based on the absolute distance from the currently selected Vert/Edge rather than distance from the active viewport.

Future Uses:
Once the feature is in place, its framework could potentially be used as an alternate visualization for Proportional and Connected Falloff, giving a more exact representation of the effect than the current circle provides.

That's all. Thanks for reading, and thank you all very, very much for the continuing excellence of Blender!

NielsBlender

Post by NielsBlender »

Spectre-7,

In a later/st Blender-version there's a little cube-icon(spread the 3D-view wide enough to see it) which allows you to 'Occlude background geometry', this applies to wireframe-mode as well.

Niels

Spectre-7
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:07 am
Location: California
Contact:

Post by Spectre-7 »

NielsBlender wrote:Spectre-7,

In a later/st Blender-version there's a little cube-icon(spread the 3D-view wide enough to see it) which allows you to 'Occlude background geometry', this applies to wireframe-mode as well.

Niels
Thank you, but I'm familiar with the feature, and it's neither what I'm looking for nor proposing. The point of the proposal was not to occlude background geometry at all, but rather add visual clues that would allow the user to more easily make sense of the image with background geometry still visible.

Also, FYI... the feature you're referring to is not available with wireframe mode at all (tested in 2.46RC1). When wireframe mode is enabled, that icon disappears from the header.

NielsBlender

Post by NielsBlender »

Spectre-7 wrote:Also, FYI...
NielsBlender wrote:In a later/st Blender-version
ps.
Changes were that you didn't know about the new icon.
And yes, 'they' could add z-alpha to each vertex(and/or split-colour), the question will be if it's usable since the 'problem' occurs with alot, alot of verts and on that point it will slowdown editing alot, alot... ;)

NielsBlender

Post by NielsBlender »

Spectre-7,

It's right indeed, the wireframemode doesn't support it, strange and questionable although they might use a realtime-GL-mode(for speed) to hide them(face-normals)... I not sure if you could refer to it as realtime-backface-culling... ;)

NielsBlender

Re: Feature Request: Enhanced Wireframe Mode

Post by NielsBlender »

Spectre-7 wrote:When working on complex meshes, it's often necessary to use wireframe mode to reveal occluded features.
Could you enlighten this?

NielsBlender

Post by NielsBlender »

Spectre-7,

I personally have almost at all times and in most situations only 1 3Dview open, however there are times when this does come in handy...to open several...

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