Hard/Soft edges for smoothing

The interface, modeling, 3d editing tools, import/export, feature requests, etc

Moderators: jesterKing, stiv

oin
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Post by oin » Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:46 pm

I have that 500$ xsi..checked now it has the feature too...lol, allways was importing from wings,(knew already that supported normals info in obj import) yet to dig "a bit" xsi modelling... It's called split, but it doesn't make different vertices. Acts like typical hard edge stuff :), as all, can be bound to a custom key.

joeri
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Post by joeri » Thu Jun 23, 2005 9:59 am

Nope, now I don't get it anymore.
Are you saying there are engines who have multiple vertex normals on one vertex?

And yes some game developers use max to make game models, and no they cannot "as good" use blender, because blenders development was (and is) not focused on the "use max" game engines.
Game engines that have direct pipelines from max via X will always be faster then any blender implementation, so if it's about saving $500,= then forget it, don't use blender, waiting on file export alone will save you the $500,= in a day. Don't say people who use max for a living might "as good" use blender, that is just not true, and a hard edge is not going to make it true.

fobsta
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Post by fobsta » Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:34 pm

Pierre-Luc_Auclair wrote:Thank you Efbie for taking time to write the current lacks in gamedesign.

These are really the only things that would keep anybody from doing gamedesign in Blender as a total solution.
I can think of at least more show stopper for games design

UV textures need to be visible in edit mode!

z3r0_d
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Post by z3r0_d » Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:33 pm

to render a hard edge you send the verticies to the graphics card multiple times [but with different normals]

so, yes, the edge is being split

however, giving the artist control over normals and the ability to define hard edges will be much prefered, we can let a coder deal with creating those extra verts for the new normal...

forcing the artist to split the edge themselves doesn't really help them

Rahu
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Post by Rahu » Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:27 pm

For a solution until(if) this gets sored out, how do you split edges like that? I can't seem to find a way :P

ideasman
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Post by ideasman » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:15 am

YKey in edit mode.

Another solution, rather then edges, is to store the meshes normals per face. Like vertex colors, Would need to add 2 * Shorts to the mface datastructure. (Or mesh datastructure since people want this as a modelling tool)

Faces that are set smooth would have there normals offset from the vertex each face used, and faces that were flat would offset the normals from the flat face- Both with zero offset as default.

The advantage with storing normals relitive to the face normal is that you only have to store 2 angles rather then 3. and you can leave all the tricky non perfect normal generation to a plugin/the UI/Normal painting.. whatever.

Even though it would take some time to get the UI working peoperly, and adding nornmal painting in- it would be much more usefull then edge hard/soft in the long run-

You could even add a tool which made selected edges hard/soft.

Normal painting could have options like-
* Paint Hard edges.
* Paint smooth edges (both allow semi hard/semi soft inbetween states)
* Aligh normal to view vector
* Push nornmals awar from view vector.
* Rotate normals

Proportional normal edit mode would be realy nice too.

- Cam

joeri
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Post by joeri » Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:20 am

ideasman wrote:Another solution, rather then edges, is to store the meshes normals per face. Like vertex colors, Would need to add 2 * Shorts to the mface datastructure. (Or mesh datastructure since people want this as a modelling tool)
That sounds a good idea.
What I was wondering is what fileformat could be used to export this type of object.

oin
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Post by oin » Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:14 pm

OBJ is a standard format. It supports both smoothing normals and smooth groups.
Advantage is most packages, most converters too, open and export it too.
(but vertex normals is all what is needed to port: As far as I know, cob, *.x , lwo, do support very well them , too. OBj is by far much more standard, and usually more problem free, and easier to parse by coders.)


Well, hard edges, multiple UVs, lightmaps (bake lighting) bake high poly mesh, and other stuff, a way to fastly anchor feet, (again, yep, is usually adding more a quicker way to do stuff: I can anchor a foot since Blender 2.28 when I started) are not Max based engines, neither Max tool exclusive. Any highend package has that: XSI, Max, Maya, Lw. Multiple UV blended textures (for seams, texture enrichment, etc) has been used in Animation-highend since eons... ;)

BTW, most cases I know are not from people that come from Max. Max indies just keep using 'happily' their warezed copy...rarely those are people one can convince, other than for the legal matter. Is for people that maybe used xsi or Maya at school, and want to use legal software at home, or just mere 3d beguiners, or coders that want to build their own scenery with open source engines, and prefer allways to use open source software...

ideasman
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Post by ideasman » Sat Jun 25, 2005 3:27 am

joeri wrote:
ideasman wrote:Another solution, rather then edges, is to store the meshes normals per face. Like vertex colors, Would need to add 2 * Shorts to the mface datastructure. (Or mesh datastructure since people want this as a modelling tool)
That sounds a good idea.
What I was wondering is what fileformat could be used to export this type of object.
The sort answer is that exporting would not be a problem- If formatsdont export normals then just ignore the normal data-

If they do support normals then just export 3or4 normals per face (just like UV's), if you are exporting to a game engine where you dont want to waist memory on double normals then you can use python 2.4 SETS, a dictionary to hash them so you only store unique normals. (Assuming youf format indexes normals seperatly from verts)-
Obj would handle this fine, as would many other formats..

Adding this is realy nice because once its in the Datastructure and theres basic Normal-Per-Face-Vert display, we can add all sorts of different normal editing UI tools..
Adding this in would also not use ant tricky math, all normals woudl be 0,0 offset by default, so loading old files would work too.

- Cam

an-toni
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Post by an-toni » Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:55 am

there was just some related talk an irc and someone mentioned this thread - quite interesting. has someone looked into implementing some of the features discussed? dunno if the change to the mface data structure would be the way, something to discuss in the conference perhaps (there'll be games ppl there i heard).

~Toni

snovak
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Post by snovak » Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:19 pm

I bumped into this thread during a search on Google. The last post was in '04. I'd love for some of these features to be available in blender. I would full-on switch from maya. So, did anything ever happen with the ability to set "hard edge" normals, vertex normals, etc? If not, is it a proposed addition?

LetterRip
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Post by LetterRip » Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:20 am

actually the last post before yours was in Oct 11 2005 :)

But yes a new modifier (in CVS) I think allows hardedges.

LetterRip

snovak
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Post by snovak » Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:34 am

SWEET.. Thanks..

IceNine
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Post by IceNine » Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:21 pm

Super bump.

I registered on these forums just because of this problem. I can't believe its been 4 years since this need has been put out there and this detailed discussion has happened and Blender STILL doesn't let you edit vertex normals. I'd like to restress what was said before that this is a BASIC REQUIREMENT for game development where poly count is important and increasing geometry around a hard edge is not only NOT AN OPTION, but is completely counter intuitive to the scenario where you would increase polycount.

I hate to sound harsh and I realize the developers are busy with 2.5 but this feedback has to be given. Especially now. Looking throught the feature list for 2.5 and watching the video I did not see vertex normal editing mentioned and was even more surprised. I think most game developers on these forums would agree that this way more important (and basic to reiterate) than a lot of the features in 2.5 and is an area where Blender is far behind.

I realize there may be pain points in the code base that might make adding this feature difficult. I just want this discussion to continue and not be ignored.

Robaron
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Post by Robaron » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:02 am

bump
IceNine wrote:Super bump.

I registered on these forums just because of this problem. I can't believe its been 4 years since this need has been put out there and this detailed discussion has happened and Blender STILL doesn't let you edit vertex normals. I'd like to restress what was said before that this is a BASIC REQUIREMENT for game development where poly count is important and increasing geometry around a hard edge is not only NOT AN OPTION, but is completely counter intuitive to the scenario where you would increase polycount.

I hate to sound harsh and I realize the developers are busy with 2.5 but this feedback has to be given. Especially now. Looking throught the feature list for 2.5 and watching the video I did not see vertex normal editing mentioned and was even more surprised. I think most game developers on these forums would agree that this way more important (and basic to reiterate) than a lot of the features in 2.5 and is an area where Blender is far behind.

I realize there may be pain points in the code base that might make adding this feature difficult. I just want this discussion to continue and not be ignored.

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