[Bf-committers] Sculpt Status - Week 3

Charles Wardlaw cwardlaw at marchentertainment.com
Sun Jun 13 06:47:07 CEST 2010

Hi Jason,

I remember seeing a request for people to speak up about speed in your branch.  I just did a quick test on 1.5 million polygons in a multires mesh-- The speed is so good now that I don't find myself dropping into lower resolutions to do my edits.  (I'm on a Macbook Pro i7 with an NVidia 330m.)  Even with a brush that covers a large area, everything but the Smooth brush feels great.  The only part of it all that feels slower is the resizing of the brush.  Might be my imagination, but it feels much slower.  Not a big deal, and doesn't get in the way of usability.

The scrape brush is my new favorite toy.  I'm also absolutely in love with the on-surface cursor, although it shifts to the side when you use the grab brush.  It also resizes sometimes across a surface-- while scraping, I sometimes see it shrink as I go from place to place. I think it's only cosmetic, though-- it doesn't seem to behave any differently.  The fill brush also works quite well.

I'd like to make one suggestion, in the "if you have time" box.  One thing 3D Coat does that's very nice is that it allows the user to reset the camera pivot position to somewhere on the mesh-- this way you can rotate around a place that makes sense regardless of how far you are from where you started.  This would be very nice to have while sculpting in Blender.  Press a key and wherever the mouse is hovering on the mesh is the new camera pivot point.  It's possible this is already an operator somewhere (if it is I'm sure someone will politely correct me), but if not, I hope you or some other interested party could add it in.

~ Charles

On 2010-06-12, at 1:40 AM, Jason Wilkins wrote:

> == "On-Surface" Brush Cursor ==
> The "On-Surface" brush cursor is drawn in a way that makes it appear to
> follow the contours of the object being sculpted.  The brush tells an
> artist precisely what areas will be effected by applying the current tool.
> Sometimes the area it highlights is quite convoluted and something the
> artist never would have guessed from using the old cursor. Beyond that I am
> experimenting with changing the brushes thickness, opacity, and color based
> on different brush settings.  When using a pen, any changes to size or
> strength because of pressure are also visualized as you go.
> The brush is obviously very useful and I've received nothing but positive
> feedback on it, however there is much work to be done before it can be
> integrated into the Blender mainstream due to two reasons.  The first is
> that although it can be implemented using standard OpenGL, for the triple
> window update method it requires saving and restoring the depth buffer which
> is an action that was overlooked in the original standard and is only
> supported by a slow round trip to memory through ReadPixels/DrawPixels.
> Making it fast will require using two extensions ARB_depth_texture and
> ARB_fragment_program (or any fragment shading extension that allows writing
> depth).
> The other reason is that the cursor requires the stencil buffer which is not
> normally requested by Blender.
> I believe that any reasonable target for doing digital sculpting in Blender
> in 2010 supports all of these features because they have been a part of
> standard mainstream OpenGL for years.  Stencil buffer was common even before
> the release of Doom 3 which made extensive use of it.
> Currently there are still some issues that need to be worked out but I
> believe the special cursor is an important enough feature to justify
> requesting the stencil buffer and using certain extensions.
> == Locking Brush Size to Blender Units ==
> I added an option to lock the current size of the brush relative to the
> object.  This means if you zoom in or out that the brush will resize so that
> it will be the same size relative to the object.
> This allows an artist to work at different levels of zoom without having to
> resize the brush in a time wasting attempt to match the size of the previous
> work.
> == Texture Controls and Overlay ==
> I improved the texture mapping controls, including a transparent overlay for
> showing the orientation of the texture.  This is similar to mudbox and
> zbrush "stencils"
> == Grab ==
> I improved the behavior of the grab brush.  The radius is doubled when
> grabbing and moving the grabbed area around no longer causes it to become
> distorted.
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