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Outdated Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 12 released ! New UI, icons, duplication, plenty of fixes, ...

Discussion in 'Utilities and programming' started by GregBlast, Jan 24, 2014.

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  1. GregBlast

    GregBlast
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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    Cameras in 3D editor
    One of the last things I was working on is the ability to place cameras inside of the 3D editor. By cameras I mean the vehicle cameras and not the views in the 3D editor (event if I plan to allow you to change the perspective view in correlation with the selected camera to have a quick overview of what it will be like).

    You can update the external camera or create independent internal cameras linked with the nodes you would have previously selected. Like when you create a beam or thruster it has a length. But its length is only meant to calculate its field of view. In fact cameras are represented with cones and I calculate the FOV using the angle from the camera origin to one of the base points. I will eventually make the base size adjustable so that you can more or less easily define the FOV or better see your vehicle parts.

    A larger base requests you to drag further away to get a smaller angle and allows you to easily define higher angles closer to 90°. A smaller base allows you to better see the rest of the stuff in the editor but makes it harder to define high FOV values.

    No screenshot right now because I'm at work. Just wanted to quickly explain this.
     
    #21 GregBlast, Feb 3, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  2. theWOODman

    theWOODman
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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    I really appreciate all the work you're putting into this. This makes modding a heck of a lot easier, especially for a node-noob like me.
     
  3. Kamil_

    Kamil_
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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    I love it, but please add support for node groups:
    Code:
    {group:["group1","group2"]}
    Whenever I load a jBeam with node groups, the group property is set to empty. :)
     
  4. GregBlast

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    I think your problem could come to either the fact that your "group" text is not enclosed into double quotes (I hope not because I may not be able to do much about that). Or because you're trying to define multi-groups. Should that be supported ? I never saw that kind of thing personally. But I can tell you that all vehicles with one node group defined work fine (which means all the official vehicles for example). And I know that once you defined a new "group" property the next nodes go into that group and not the previous one anymore right ?

    If that kind of multi-value property should be allowed then I could change my code to accept that. But is it really required ? I mean in what scenario should a node be part of 2 different groups on the same vehicle part ? Do you have a concrete example to give me so I can understand it ?

    If that's not related to that and your jbeam example should point to something more general then maybe you were trying to declare a node group inside an empty node section ? Which seems to indeed clear the group name because no element was defined and groups are set to be closed automatically at end of file. In that case you should go to "Preferences" and uncheck "Auto. close grouping properties". This will disable that behaviour and let you fully define your groups (group, deformGroup and such).

    Thanks for the feedback.

    EDIT:
    I suppose you were defining an empty node section with a group property OR you were defining a group property at the end of the nodes section for the next parts in the vehicle hierarchy to be part of that group. Please uncheck "Auto. close grouping properties" in "Preferences" to disable that behaviour. This will actually prevent the tool from automatically closing grouping properties such as "group" or "deformGroup" at end of section (closing = resetting it to empty so the next part doesn't get affected by it). If you do want your next parts in the hierarchy to get affected by it then disable that option. But you have to not forget to manually close them if needed.
     
    #24 GregBlast, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  5. 0xsergy

    0xsergy
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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    One suggestion. It'd be helpful to be able to open a specific file(ie just one jbeam) instead of having to load the entire vehicle. Personally, I prefer to have everything organized myself using NP++ but something like this would speed up the process of submeshing(coltris) but I wouldn't want to load up my entire vehicle and save over it as it would overwrite my own changes.
     
  6. GregBlast

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    Yes for saving purposes I agree that I should add that possibility. But as you're stating it would be per file and not per part because that would eventually be too complex to handle. If not I may allow it as well.

    As for loading everything I don't see any problem as far as you don't save it all. I prefer loading it all because that's how the tool is designed to work. With a list of files each containing a list of parts. If you open the 3D editor and have a look at a part for which beams are links between nodes from another part in another file it would not make much sense. Also it's better to keep an overview of what the vehicle looks like to prevent getting lost. I mean if you were developing a project with Visual Studio you wouldn't want to hide some files at any time. You always want to be able to see what you have unless it's a separate project in a separate solution.

    The next release is going to take longer then expected because I'll obviously have to rework a big part of the 3D editor background. This is because I'm getting into trouble with some things I couldn't have predicted before. I just really started working with WPF 3D with this project so I cannot plan everything I'm going to do as I don't yet know how everything works. However the next release will have a bunch of changes that are already in place and will help work easier. I'm giving it some time as a real tester to try to make it more user-friendly. I'll try to take all your requests into consideration for that one in addition to making it more stable and useful. I'm also messing with obj files trying to define the best way to work with 3D models inside the editor and will probably include more functionalities around that too.

    The ultimate aim is to convince you that Notepad++ would not be longer required at all. I know that the current state of the tool doesn't apply to that but please try to think about this and let me know why you really need Notepad++. Because I need to know what you need to make it available in my tool.
     
  7. Kamil_

    Kamil_
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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    Sorry, I was typing out that example from memory, I'm using double quotes in my code.
    It is actually possible to have nodes be part of two groups. I just checked and it's the same as having a flexbody in two groups:
    Code:
    ["flexbody", ["axle","spring"]]
    //node
    {"group":"spring"},
    ["node"...]
    is the same as
    Code:
    ["flexbody", ["spring"]]
    //node
    {"group":["axle","spring"]},
    ["node"...]
    I'll be using flexbody groups from now on, since its the "supported" way (gabe does it that way), but I'd like to just throw it out there that both work exactly the same. (Atleast I did not see a difference)

    Oh. Also, sorry, I worded myself wrong in the first post. I meant to say "support for multiple node groups", obviously node groups are there :p

    I also use Notepad++, but I use it tweaking the values and creating nodes, I find it a lot easier to do that with notepad and the game loaded. I'd be great if your tool loaded models from the .dae files to use in the editor, because then I could just use that to create the nodes. The reason I don't like to use the game option in the editor is because it feels really horrible to use; when I use notepad and the game, I can alt+tab into notepad, write the changes, save, and reload in the game. With your editor either the game or the editor takes up too much space, and it is not as easy to switch between them.
    I also don't like the UI, it feels clunky and 'intrusive', I think tdev said that screens are getting wider, rather than taller, that's true, even more true if you have two screens (like me). For this reason it'd be really great if you could create instances of the window to drag about. Which leads me onto my next point about the UI being intrusive, so, it's a tool, and not a game, so why does it fullscreen? It should be in a window, using the native OS window, so you can drag it, and resize it properly (I can't drag it, or resize it left, bug or not, it'd still be better using the Windows UI)
    That's all of my criticisms.
    What I do love about the editor is that I can easily and quickly create beams, especially in really complex jbeams.
     
    #27 Kamil_, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  8. Singh336

    Singh336
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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    This tool is amazing and your skill level is mind blowing, thanks for making a wiki and youtube channel.

    Maybe a next video you can show making a new car from scratch, showing how to add parts or how to duplicate a car and take out the parts you don't need want etc whatever way is easier / makes more sense.

    I'm going to try to use this tool as much as possible for my first car mod
     
  9. GregBlast

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    @Kamil_

    First of all thanks for all that feedback. Would really help me if everyone took the time you took to describe their opinions.

    Multi-group:
    I now better see the way it works. And I think I can correctly assume that either declaring them in the flexbody or nodes section has similar impact. That may change the vision I had of it all. I thought more that each section needed its own properties for its own elements and other sections wouldn't affect them. But can you confirm they do impact each other ?
    Anyways just allowing multi-group properties for nodes will not be that hard and that I can do for the next release.

    Node creation & models:
    As I stated previously I'm currently focusing on playing with 3D models within the editor. If you didn't quite know yet you can load a 3D model but it has to be a .obj or .3ds (.lwo should work as well). It simply has to be named the same as the vehicle folder and you should take care of the scaling and axis orientation when exporting it. But rmikebaker does it without problem so I guess it's not that hard. I would add support for .dae if I could but so far I had no luck in that. The others were already managed by the toolkit.
    You can already use the 3D cursor to create your nodes directly onto the model but if you load up the entire model to create a single part of it you might not be able to do it as you'd like. That's why I will work more on that and add features allowing you to show / hide different meshes. And probably select them to link them to the vehicle flexbodies.

    Game in editor:
    I agree that it can look hard to use with a small game screen but you don't have to use half a screen for the game and half a screen for the app. You can easily click an arrow from the grey slider to maximize either the game area or the edition area. May be a little less easy then alt+tabbing but it gives you more options. There should be more things to do on the game from the editor later on so it may be useful. Anyways I can probably also figure out a shortcut to maximize or minimize the game area if that helps.

    Windows & UI:
    I agree that the UI is taking quite a lot of space. That's the reason why I added that green + button at the top right to maximize the editing area. It's probably not the best but it's already better. Gives you quite a few additional lines. Have you tried it already ?

    The window is not fullscreen and is a native OS window. It's just a borderless window with custom paint on it like the game when you select Borderless in the display options instead of Fullscreen. It goes over the taskbar because making it borderless deactivates some default behaviours of normal windows. When you remove the borders of a window you have to manually deal with the dragging and resizing. And yes there was a bug on the left side which should no longer occur in the next release. Giving its borders back to the window will make it take more space with that and less for me to show that logo and buttons in the header. I wanted to make it load a little special and that's why I did it like that. Click the green button and it will be more or less the same size as when using a window with borders.

    As for dual-screen support I am using two screens as well so I may add support for that too because it will also help me. I will probably load up the game in a linked window on the second screen if an option in the preferences is checked.



    Anyways thanks again for your feedback it's really helpful. I hope I can make this even better and time goes. Your reply is like others the reason why I still release as Alpha. And I intend to go Beta and Release. It's just about the time it takes.


    @Singh336

    Thanks for your feedback as well. I really hope I can get to the point of making a (simple at least) vehicle from scratch in the near future. If so be sure I'll post a video about it on my channel. Duplicating parts and reusing for another vehicle is not yet something available but that's also one of the things I have planned to add. Keep track of this thread for future changes.

    Also the wiki currently has no picture and that's also something I'm going to change. I'm intending to add videos to it as well. But again as I said it's all a matter of time.
     
  10. Singh336

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    I used the tool to easily duplicate and rename the gavril D truck, i wanted to use that as a base to start importing my model in the game...


    I wanted to use the editor to then change the file where it holds the information about the names of the parts within the model, but I feel like when Im clicking around the information is blank :S
     
  11. GregBlast

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    Could you provide a screenshot because I'm not completely sure about what you mean ? The links between the model meshes and the jbeam are the flexbodies right ? If you duplicated a vehicle then some of the jbeam files must define the flexbodies and it's only by opening those files that you will see the mesh names.
    Maybe you mean that I don't provide the names to pick ? Which is correct. You will have to provide them yourself by editing the flexbodies. If what you mean is not related to flexbodies then why are you talking about the model parts which for me refers to the meshes ?
     
  12. Kamil_

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    I didn't really understand what you were asking about the multi-groups, care to elaborate?
    And I didn't know you can load models already, so I'm sorry about that.
    While I already knew you can drag the panels to resize them, I still feel it would be better if you could drag the panels out and make a floating window with them. Kind of like this (you can drag the panels to make a new window, not only drag them inside a single window, in case you didn't know).
    I guess it's up to personal preference though.

    With the fullscreen bit, I sort of realised it was a borderless window. When I was talking about the native os, I actually meant the look (and feel), it's just easier to use if it looks the same like the rest of your computer. Games can get away with it, but editors should stick to the native design, or an enhanced version of it, but not favouring looks over functionality.
    The loss of work area when using Windows' windows is 30 pixels for the titlebar and 8 pixels on the borders. So even if the window is 1366x768 pixels in size, you still get 1350x720 pixels of useable space, even more if it's full screen. Not to sound bad/mean, but in your editor even with "maximized" space, you are taking up 92 pixels for the top part. If you were to use the a simple menu bar, like in the image above, you'd be saving 33% of that, and you have borders as well :p

    Too bad you don't have this on github or something, I would surely have helped you ;)
     
  13. Singh336

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    github would be a good idea.


    disregard what I said above, I forgot to press "open" button to see the details, i was just swinging open the windows instead lol.
     
  14. GregBlast

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    Yeah I know about dock containers. I'm using the one all others are based on all the time as I'm using Visual Studio. It's just a matter of finding a good free one. I once made one that was working quite ok but still it was far from the one you can see in Visual Studio. That's not a very easy thing to build. So it's not just up to personal preference I'm afraid. But I agree that would be nice.

    As for borderless windows if you know about DevExpress or such suites you'll see that they use a skin system to redesign the way their controls / windows look like. Hence they do take look into good consideration while keeping the funcitonality to the best they can. But those guys do that for a living so they have the time to think about every little detail that could improve user-friendlyness. In my case I have to do plenty of things they don't. So I try to give it what I can but as usual things need a priority. And I don't think that should have the highest right now. Maybe when the tool has all the features it should I can concentrate only on UI improvements. But there should be a time for everything. And if I just give up what I've done to make it look like this I also give up some of the things that make it unique and I'd like to keep.

    As for versioning I may not be using github right now but I'm using SVN on a google dev account. I'm sure you could help making some things go faster but there would always be conflicts in the way you would do things I would have done differently. I am a .NET developer so I do this for a living. So I can do most of what would be asked. The only real problem is time. I do code all day and when I come back home in the evening I don't always feel like going on for a few more hours. But still I want to keep this project on until I get bored with the game I would say. Which I doubt will happen soon ;). So I'm packing all your requests and little by little I'll improve this app to get it closer to user's liking. I just don't want to be in a hurry. And someone taking part into the development would not help me unless he is a developer and is determined to be a real collaborator from start to end and follows the same established rules.
     
  15. Again_Dejavu

    Again_Dejavu
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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    The wiki page needs to be edited so it works for smaller screens
    I've tried but I'm horribly incompetent so it was unsuccessful.

    EDIT:

    How do I put beams between nodes I've already placed?
     
    #35 Again_Dejavu, Feb 12, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  16. GregBlast

    GregBlast
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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    Make sure "Add beam" is checked (button should be blue on the toolbar) then select the node cursor on the toolbar or press "V" until "Node cursor" is selected. Then simply drag from a node to the other. Be careful because it's pretty sensitive and you can easily jump from a node to another.
     
  17. Singh336

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    I think this tool would be very useful if it got to a pont in development where you could use it to duplicate an existing vehicle, delete the uneeded parts, start with the chassis, add the slots nodes beams flexbodies etc and build it from there...

    I know a lot of that is already possible, but to be able to NOT use the notepad++ even once would be great.

    The biggest thing seems to be these damn nodes / beams.

    Your editor is amazing, but the 3d editor is kind of killing me, maybe im so used to max and this is more like Z3d or something idk... but I cannot even figure out how to delete a damn node.

    Maybe i should try reading the wiki :p idk.
     
  18. GregBlast

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    Yeah you should read the wiki ^^. You can duplicate a vehicle and easily remove files / parts from it. The grids all work the same. You can simply click the "X" button in the "Delete" column and that's it. When the vehicle first opens you are presented with the files / parts grid directly so you can easily do it right after duplicating. And duplicating is not hard. Just select a vehicle in the menu, change the name and click save.
    Deleting nodes is currently done by holding left alt and clicking it. I will add support for the delete key which currently only deletes your selection. You make a selection by clicking nodes while holding left ctrl. And you unselect all by just pressing enter. You will preferably do those actions with the Node cursor so that you're sure not to miss the nodes.
    And if you don't like all that you can always go to the nodes tab and delete the nodes from the grid like you would delete parts / files the way I just explained.

    Voilà :).
     
  19. Singh336

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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    thanks for your tips !


    I actually was able to duplicate the pickup, delete everything except for the chassis, so the editor was useful for me...

    but then I had to make the jbeam from scratch because I wasn't able to get my model to show up in game, i still can't.


    driving me fucking NUTS.


    Thanks though seriously for the 3d editor tips, but how can I get the model to show in the editor so I can lay out these nodes and beams ?


    my vehicle folder right now is super basic.

    the model with only the chassis inside it right now , basic 1 color material applied

    and then the .jbeam file

    - - - Updated - - -

    I was able to delete a few nodes in perspective mode after fiddling with it for a few minutes...

    I wasn't working for a while for some reason but I was switching on and off some buttons above and maybe the certain combinations of buttons I had enabled were not making it possible.

    I got it now, not too bad, but i need the mesh of the car to show so I can make the nodes around it :S
     

    Attached Files:

  20. GregBlast

    GregBlast
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    Re: Real-Time Vehicle Editor - Alpha 11 and Wiki page

    Ok I'll check your stuff tomorrow. Time to sleep for me now. As I said earlier the only way to display models in the editor currently is to have a .obj or .3ds file named like your .dae.
    The version Alpha 12 should be released soon. I just need to finalize some things correctly. It makes it easier to play around with models already. If I can find the time I'll make a video of it.
     
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