[Bf-committers] Procedural generation for summer of code!

patrick boelens p_boelens at msn.com
Sat Apr 7 14:54:37 CEST 2012

I could definitely see some use for a system like this!

Basically what it sounds like to me is node-based mesh construction macros (which sounds quite awesome!).
Even just being able to edit the properties of a primitive/ generator object after doing another operation sounds like a very useful feature to me.

The strength of this to me is the fact that it's not use-case specific, as Lukas mentioned.

I'm guessing it will need quite a bit of fleshing out and coordination with the dev team (i.e.: What to record/ support, how to handle unsupported actions such as mesh edits, etc), but I very much like the general idea of it.

Also, I think an interest for something like macros has been expressed before, so might be worth looking that up (could be wrong on this though).

Good luck!

> Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2012 10:26:00 +0200
> From: dima.glib at gmail.com
> To: bf-committers at blender.org
> Subject: Re: [Bf-committers] Procedural generation for summer of code!
> Hmm, how about parametric modeling? Sort of like a blend of macro,
> modifiers and drivers:
> 1. user records a sequence of operations (the end result must be one
> or more objects)
> 2. user can change parameters of any constituent operator at any time
> afterwards (thus regenerating the object(s))
> 3. user can modify the operator node graph (add/delete/reconnect
> operator nodes) at any time afterwards (thus regenerating the
> object(s))
> 4. user can declare "high-level parameters" that drive some parameters
> of constituent operators
> Implementing it as a Python addon currently is not feasible, for the
> following reasons:
> - from Python, there's no way (or at least I couldn't find one) to
> monitor what operators are being successfully applied (if operator has
> been canceled, it shouldn't be recorded; if operator has finished, we
> must use values of arguments with which it finished)
> - "parametric" object must be a special kind of Object which can be
> modified only by changing the operator node graph and/or its
> parameters (though user can convert "parametric" object to normal
> object(s) in backwards-incompatible way, like in curve->mesh
> conversion)
> - regeneration of such object requires special handling of context --
> to have reproducible results and to avoid side-effects in the main
> scene, the operator node graph must be applied in a separate "pocket
> dimension" with fixed initial conditions
> Parametric modeling is probably most useful when you need many similar
> objects with some variability (houses in a village, armada of pirate
> airships, etc.), or when you want some animated complex fractal
> effects in a video. Addons like sapling/ivygen/masonry can benefit
> from such mechanism too, since it would allow to edit their parameters
> not just immediately after creation.
> Also, parametric generation may aid procedural generation.
> It's just a rough description, but I hope the idea is clear :-)
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