Face/Edge/Vertex Mode Proposal

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Monkeyboi
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Face/Edge/Vertex Mode Proposal

Post by Monkeyboi »

http://www.shadeless.dk/ui/Editmodes.htm

Please read it through before commenting.

-William

theeth
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Post by theeth »

I agree that we need different modes, but I don't agree about the changes you suggested to vertices and edges extrusion. For one thing, this would become messy very fast without n-gon support. Also, while having them as option is nice, it is only a necessity if you work with a closed object paradigm (like Wings does).

Martin
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.
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Monkeyboi
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Post by Monkeyboi »

You are right Theeth, without Ngons this extrusion method isn't very good. The rest of the proposal still stands though.

lukep
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Post by lukep »

theeth wrote:I agree that we need different modes, but I don't agree about the changes you suggested to vertices and edges extrusion. For one thing, this would become messy very fast without n-gon support. Also, while having them as option is nice, it is only a necessity if you work with a closed object paradigm (like Wings does).

Martin
The paradigm used by wings is mainly enforcing 2-manifold meshes. This can be extended to open surface without problem but is less flexible than the blender approach.

However the 2-manifold surfaces have many advantages mainly because the internals supporting it (winged edges, halfedge or quadedges) allow for better (faster) operations and algorithms. Euler operators and traversals offered are in this case very efficient. And you have persistents edges, allowing easily for creased subsurfs.

N-gons are a plus (less distortions in a smoothed surfaces) but not the main bonus in this case IMHO.

Monkeyboi
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Post by Monkeyboi »

The paradigm used by wings is mainly enforcing 2-manifold meshes. This can be extended to open surface without problem but is less flexible than the blender approach.

However the 2-manifold surfaces have many advantages mainly because the internals supporting it (winged edges, halfedge or quadedges) allow for better (faster) operations and algorithms. Euler operators and traversals offered are in this case very efficient. And you have persistents edges, allowing easily for creased subsurfs.

N-gons are a plus (less distortions in a smoothed surfaces) but not the main bonus in this case IMHO.
XSI manages to have a winged edge structure that also allows for open surfaces. N-gons would certinately be a very nice thing, but something tells me it would be more than just regularily hard to implement in Blender while still keeping backwards compatibility etc.

One thing is obvious here: We cannot suddenly opt for a completely closed surface system, since Blender is very often used to create open meshes. An open mesh structure with a winged edge modeling structure and style is more the aim as far as I would prefer.

As I state in the proposal I think this could be done in pratice by adding four submodes to Blenders Edit Mode where one of them is the old Edit Mode. The others should have heavy influence from the likes of Wings 3D, Mirai and XSI.

SamAdam
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Post by SamAdam »

Everything you do looks nice. One question though. Are you actually working on this? I have seen some trys, but they don't have the grouping lines and shading as you show, and the pop-up menus. Do you have a team of henchmen behind the scenes that will suddenly throw this into a daily build one day? And is there any real work to be done or does it just take some people's okays and then official work can begin?

lukep
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Post by lukep »

Monkeyboi wrote: One thing is obvious here: We cannot suddenly opt for a completely closed surface system, since Blender is very often used to create open meshes. An open mesh structure with a winged edge modeling structure and style is more the aim as far as I would prefer.
I agree on open meshes mandatory.
You only need to add *one* pointer to the halfedge struct to suport open meshes and inner boundaries (for wingededge one it's two I think). This has also some performance costs as you have no more euler ops insuring automagically 2-manifold state and you need to add validation step. More worrisome, blender in its actual state support non 2-manifold meshes (edge without corresponding faces, more than 2 faces sharing one edge, or simply non-topological disc or half-disc at one vertice) . Those can always be viewed as the union of 2-manifold meshes + degenerates.

Now to implement that without loosing backwards compability is another matter.

Monkeyboi
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Post by Monkeyboi »

Yes, Implementing it in practice is ging to be a hard job.

No problem since I have an army of evil fast coders at my hand! Or.. not. I'm afraid to say that I am no coder. Still, I have used quite a few 3D applications and that gives me some ideas. Also, I find myself thinking about Blender in the strangest places.. Stuff like how to implement a face/edge/vertex mode well.

further comments appriciated

thorwil
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Post by thorwil »

4 modes is a bit much. Especialy because it will be hard to comunicate/understand the difference between all in one and vertex mode.
I think it would be better to split up extrusion. Having vertex, edge and face extrusion.

Some time ago I proposed a selection system derived from Soliworks: having filters for all element types: vertex, edge, face. All elements with checked filter can be directly selected. This requires an inteligent target area layout mechanism, allowing to select vertices even when edges and faces are selectable too. Pre selection highlighting and excluding backside elements / hidden line removal would be a must!

To restrict modality to a minimum, all selections on all levels should always stay as they are, and don't change meaning. Selection tools might be a better concept than selection modes, narrowing down the area of change to the function of the mouse pointer.

solmax
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Post by solmax »

finally this topic seems to get a larger support. the current sub-object handling is messy - we have vertices and faces, but both originally build for different purposes (editing/texturing).

i'd suggest to keep entering sub-object mode with tab, but also use it to cycle through various sub-object modes - vertex being the first ( as this is what you currently get), then edge and finally polygon selection mode. shift-tab could go back into that cycle, and after one end is reached you enter object mode again.

marin

oin
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Post by oin »

Most common out there is 3 modes, usually a forth for object. vertex, edge, face, object. max has even an "element" mode.

My fav modeller, Wings3d, with my other favourite one (can one have two favourites? :roll: ) has face, vertex, edge, body mode. You switch with v, e, f, b or the top tool bar icons. It like changes as it supposes you want depending on the operation (and no, is not unpredictable as some word proccesors in that.. ;) )

The winged structure is cool,but has its problems to generate open meshes, isolated dots, etc..Wings has avoided many problems, and users learnt tricks...but has its disadvantages... Still I prefer it as a modeller, but surely for how good it is dealt.

My other favourite modeller (my plans are animate with Blender) is Metasequoia LE. I uploaded now an avi (divx needed, sorry, was the only to compress that much... www.divx.com I think, and, is compressed as windows exe, very sorry again, but needed to use 7-zip free compresor, as was the only to reduce this 24 mbs to 1.8. I hope u can see it with wine or a windows machine) ..which shows that lastly commented selection mode in solidworks...guess maybe Mizno lab got inspired there... I love it is very quick, though now I'm more used to wings system.

HERE

In this, I am not sure what would be the best. As I model things with metasequoia 1, 2, 3..as well as in Wings3d(this is in the works, initial) ..But in general, people is used to see vertex, face, edge modes. The metasequoia method is quick , but because that panel is always there, and as seen in the avi, you can compress decompress the menus as you go needing. I'd need a DVD of avis to show al its clever ways, though...as well as with wings. But that doesn't mean I like all of them. The direct selection of metasequoia (similar to max, is nice, for example...)

Metasequoia (the LE version is free, but for non comercial products :( reason why I switched to wings, bsd license, long ago.The shareware version of Metas only exports in mqo, that can be opened with ultimate unwrap or a free max plugin):

http://www21.ocn.ne.jp/~mizno/main_e.html

Dunno, I think for ui research, is extremely good see different things... this Metasequoia is a japanese software that only can be purchased in japan..no english help, nothing.Is trial and erro learning ;) :twisted:

In the avi, look how I activate, deactivate edge(ln), vertex, or face, in the buttons, so that vertex, edge or face cannot be selecte or clicked.Again, in Meta you left click and drag to do anything. Click on empty space to deselect, shift click for add to selection...more like in Max. Less like in Wings or Blender.

blendix
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Post by blendix »

I think modes should avoided in most cases, but it's clear that one editmode is not sufficient. A non-modal solution to this problem would be great, but I can't see how. So I think vert/edge/face mode is the way to go.

I can't agree with having 4 modes. 3 modes are bad enough. I agree with thorwil that the modes should not affect extrusion for example, but rather selection. I would like them to be light modes, but still different enough to provide the most important currently missing functionality. I would like to make a distinction between select and action tools.

Action tools should not be affected by the mode. Maybe make action tools, that doesn't work in a certain mode, or whose result is not visible in a certain mode, unaccesable. For example Make Face or Fill would not be available in Face Mode, as it doesn't make sense there. But I don't think there are that many other examples. So generally all actions tools should be available, all the time. Having to switch to a mode, just for one action, seems like a bad idea to me.

Selection tools should be affected by the modes. But only affecting RMB Select maybe isn't enough. For example Border Select should be different in each mode, and Vertex Loop Select would be disabled in Face Mode, as it won't work anyway.

The possibility to be in different modes at the same time, is certainly interesting. But it gives some problems. If the modes affect more than RMB Select, like Border Select, it isn't clear in which mode it would work. Also, how do you keep the vertex/edge/face selections consistent?

For example, imagine 3 quads in a row, connected to each other. Select all three faces, deselect the middle one. So now you have all verts selected, and 2 faces selected. Extrude. But extrude what? The verts or the faces? How do the action tools know to which selection to apply their action? Dealing with this consistently, without confusing the user seems to be very difficult.

Imo, drawing in the different modes should not be much different. When switching a mode, the user should not have to sit back and re-capture the situation. It should be possible to draw selected faces/edges in vertex mode, and maybe even selected verts in face mode (although maybe not as clearly visible as the selected faces in face mode) .

jo
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Post by jo »

i think this is something for blender 3!

Monkeyboi
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Post by Monkeyboi »

thorwil wrote:4 modes is a bit much. Especially because it will be hard to comunicate/understand the difference between all in one and vertex mode. I think it would be better to split up extrusion. Having vertex, edge and face extrusion.
If we throw away the old Blender Edit Mode I predict a swarm of people who will swear they wont touch it until the old edit mode is restored. Besides, the old Edit Mode is a somewhat 'clever' mix between vertex, edge and face mode.
Some time ago I proposed a selection system derived from Soliworks: having filters for all element types: vertex, edge, face. All elements with checked filter can be directly selected. This requires an inteligent target area layout mechanism, allowing to select vertices even when edges and faces are selectable too.
The thing is you might end up creating a much more complicated way of working for the user. Vertex/Edge/Face mode is a proven stroke of genius that allows for many advanced operations be executed with ease from the user. Switching modes is not a pain. Not being able to is. Splitting things up into these modes will not make things slower or more inconvenient for the user. Quite the opposite. Modeling in Blender would be much faster and easier to do.
solmax wrote:i'd suggest to keep entering sub-object mode with tab, but also use it to cycle through various sub-object modes - vertex being the first ( as this is what you currently get), then edge and finally polygon selection mode. shift-tab could go back into that cycle, and after one end is reached you enter object mode again.
The trouble is that it would then take quite long to scroll through the modes until you are back in Object Mode.
blendix wrote:I can't agree with having 4 modes. 3 modes are bad enough. I agree with thorwil that the modes should not affect extrusion for example, but rather selection.
But they go hand in hand. Extruding edges naturally gives a different result than extruding faces


Action tools should not be affected by the mode. Maybe make action tools, that doesn't work in a certain mode, or whose result is not visible in a certain mode, unaccesable. For example Make Face or Fill would not be available in Face Mode, as it doesn't make sense there. But I don't think there are that many other examples. So generally all actions tools should be available, all the time. Having to switch to a mode, just for one action, seems like a bad idea to me.
I agree that many functions a should be accesible in the different modes, and that some should only be accesible in some modes where applicable. But there has to be a difference on how functions work. I don't think that isconfusing. Do you honestly find Wings confusing?
imagine 3 quads in a row, connected to each other. Select all three faces, deselect the middle one. So now you have all verts selected, and 2 faces selected. Extrude. But extrude what? The verts or the faces? How do the action tools know to which selection to apply their action? Dealing with this consistently, without confusing the user seems to be very difficult.
That is one very good reason to have proper modes, and not just 'selection modes' that are independent of actions. If they are just for selecting different parts there is not much idea in at all if you can't perform the relevant actions. There has to be a difference between how actions work in vertex mode and how they work in face mode. And there is nothing wrong with that. You are operating with different things, and although it is possible to have JUST one mode (like Blender has now) it is just never as flexible as having more. Having four modes to choose from won't slow down anyone, or make things inconvenient. Having the option to go to Face Mode is a lot better than not having a face mode at all. If people prefer, they can stay in the All-in-one Mode and just use that. But for ultimate control, speed and flexibility, Vertex/Edge/Face modes are much more desirable.
Imo, drawing in the different modes should not be much different. When switching a mode, the user should not have to sit back and re-capture the situation. It should be possible to draw selected faces/edges in vertex mode, and maybe even selected verts in face mode (although maybe not as clearly visible as the selected faces in face mode) .
Why? Talk about confusing..

When you switch modes the selections should stay intact just like in Wings and XSI. Select a face, go to vertex mode and the four verts forming that face should be selected.

oin
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Post by oin »

in wings, when changing mode, often u get more selected than was in the last mode...but pressing + or - it grows, decrease the selection.Don't ask me why, but it always "guess" what you need better each moment... :o

And yep, modes are great, though have modelled one only mode in Metasequoia, I love wings system now...

both can be good to have..

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