Viewport Clipping solution?

GTA:V Modding with ZModeler3 discussion.

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Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby LeeC2202 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:26 am

Is there a solution to the horrendous viewport clipping that happens in this software? I am trying to do some close proximity mesh/texture work and it is absolutely impossible when the mesh just vanishes into thin air.

I mean, compare the view I can get in 3DS Max with what I can get in ZM3 in this image. It's like expecting a builder to work with a hammer with a 3 foot long handle, because if he got any closer the nails would disappear from view... an artist can't work with tools like this. :(

Image

I am getting an erroneous single polygon appearing in-game on this hole and I need to see if the issue is there in ZM3 but I can't get anywhere near it to find out. I thought there might have been a viewport clipping setting like in Max... no idea why I thought that mind you. :roll:

It's almost like an edge has been turned incorrectly, causing a polygon-overlap but nothing seems out of place in wireframe view, which is why I need to see things close up in the texture view. All the vertices are welded, so it's not being caused by a stray/drifting vertex.

It's not there in Max but it is there in OpenIV and the game but unless I can see things closer, I can't tell whether it's an import error from Max, or an export error from ZM3.
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby Oleg » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:08 am

Sure. Shift + Right mouse button and move mouse down to decrease "field of view", this will permanently throw camera (view position) away and let you see closer with no clipping. In case of perspective view, an Alt key should be held too.

Alternatively, use "User" isometric viewport instead of Perspective/3D.
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby LeeC2202 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:45 am

Hmmm, user view seems to be the better option of the two because it doesn't reset the setting when you switch viewports. When you juggle the FOV out of the way, it comes back the minute you switch back to perspective view. Simply being able to shift the clipping plane would be a much better option as iso view isn't particularly pleasant to use... but it works, thanks.

Just two other things... is there a "Set pivot to centre of selection option" and a "Rotate camera around selection" option? These are two other Max options that drastically speed up workflow because they keep the selection as the point of focus.

It would actually be useful if there was a list of keyboard commands in the Knowledgebase... or in a Help option in the software.
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby Oleg » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:23 am

when you use it for a while, you will get changing of FOV to prevent clipping performed in half a second unconsciously.

I don't have 3dsmax, I trust you it has a quite sophisticated viewport navigation and control, but I suppose it uses its viewport control (buttons and keys combinations) for historical reasons. Same goes to zmodeler3, it uses the same viewport controls zmod2 (and mostly zmod) had.

Unfortunately, there is no full guide to ZModeler3 or basics guide (from the very first run to first objects), as ZMod3 inherits most of its ui and workflow capabilities from zmodeler2. I used to cover just few aspects in Knowledge base - those that are completely different to ZModeler2. There is a lot of guides to zmodeler2 including video guides, that is why I haven't made my own for new zmod3 users.

Can you explain in few words how these features work:
"Set pivot to centre of selection option" and a "Rotate camera around selection"?
What they do and how do they toggle (does user press a specific button or hold some key for them to act)?
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby LeeC2202 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:04 pm

Set pivot to centre of selection option - Each object in Max has its own pivot, along with a working pivot. At any time, you can go into the Hierarchy view and set the pivot to the centre of any object that is selected (or to other locations). In ZM3, you press the X key and it sets a pivot under the cursor, that affects how and where things rotate and scale from. So the equivalent would be hitting a button and that pivot would locate to the centre of the selected object or polygon selection. If you have a large object, trying to work out if you are at the centre is extremely difficult, especially if the centre contains no visible mesh. The only workaround for this is to translate the object to 0,0,0 and reset the pivot to the origin, then move the object back to its original position but that's not an ideal situation.

The extension of that is being able to align the pivot to the minimum or maximum X, Y or Z limits of the mesh, so you can scale towards one side.

Rotate camera around selection - Instead of the camera being fixed on a position in the world, it is fixed on the selected object, usually the centre of it. As you select faces/vertices, that location is based on the centre of that selection within that object. So with a default box, it would focus on the centre, if you selected an end face, it would rotate around that face. As you add or delete faces to/from the selection, the rotation point adapts.

So imagine you were working on the wheel of a car. You could select a wheel, then when you rotated the camera, that wheel was always what the camera is rotating around. But you might want to work on the air valve, so you would select those faces, then the camera would rotate around those instead. The camera always zooms to that point as well. It doesn't centre the object on the screen, it just locks the camera to that object as its point of rotation.
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby LeeC2202 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:12 pm

This might demonstrate it better https://1drv.ms/v/s!AiSWDMVGEzDxggPgE16KxyQD8_nF
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby Oleg » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:59 pm

does "rotate around selection" work for selected group of vertices? (rotating around center of selected vertices of some object) or only object(s) center is respected?

concerning the pivot, you can toggle pivoting to helper vs pivoting to object's axes by toggling "Pivot" button in the bottom. so you can toggle it off and use Display\Local axes\center to object; then scale. the drawback is that actual object's local axes do change place. concerning placing pivot to min/max on x/y/z extension - it is planned to create a quick scale/rotate for selection: a frame (on boundary of selection) with draggable manipulators in corners and on sides to allow quickly scale selection by dragging these scale manipulators in corners. This is primary an idea for UV-mapper where small charts needs to be scaled/rotated constantly, but this might take place in other viewports too (probably). It's a low-priority feature to be honest.
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby LeeC2202 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:19 pm

Rotate around selection works for any selection, vertices, edges, polygons and objects.

Your second paragraph made me weep. There are simple solutions to problems but instead you're planning on adding another layer of convolution, onto an already convoluted set of tools. You have a scaling system that works and is consistent across functions, so duplicating that serves no real purpose, it just confuses users... especially seeing as nothing gets documented.

3D drag-handles are just another set of objects to find, in the middle of a whole bunch of larger objects. They're great in 2D because you can always see what you are scaling. But what if I want to scale a 3D object in a certain direction and I need to watch a corner to make sure it is scaling within limits? Suddenly I am fighting to keep some drag handles on screen, so that I can scale the object, but also trying to watch a different area of the model. So how can that be any easier than the current system, that lets me scale an object with the cursor anywhere on screen? Build functionality on foundations of familiarity... it's a tried and trusted method.

Have a watch of this video, this is the Max working pivot. https://youtu.be/9XhpZs0u0rU

So what you have in that video, is an extension to an existing tool set, that works consistently within the pivot context. It's flexible, simple and highly useful. You already have the foundations of that system with the existing pivot, which works alongside the bones and dummies. People already know that scaling and rotation is relative to that pivot, so why not just enhance the existing system?

I work as both an artist and programmer and while I am in programmer mode, I am more than happy to dig into menus, research functions, read help documents etc... but when I am in artist mode, I work by instinct... it's a completely different mindset. So when artists are forced to think like programmers in order to create things, it stifles creativity instead of encouraging it. There are good reasons why the way ZModeler works, is not replicated in the higher end packages and it's because it's not a way that artists like to work. That's why people are literally begging for Open Formats to cover vehicles, because they can then use artist oriented tools, to create artistic content. You can't create an oil painting, with a set of car mechanic's tools.

Ultimately, it's all your choice but if the voice of artist's are not important, who is the tool for? That's a rhetorical question, you don't need to reply to any of this. I am just trying to offer ways forward, instead of sideways.
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby tall70 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:36 pm

^ I was using 3dsmax for gims4, I would swear I remember same clipping in the standard 3D View... I know it would be nice to scale in 3D View in locked yzx directions, so you can look at the object while you scalling in same viewport, I felt similar inconveniences when I started working in zmodeler.... however I just figured $39 a year, very nice tool.... well if all this will lead to improve ZM even more I ain't stopping you ['_']
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby LeeC2202 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm

tall70 wrote:^ I was using 3dsmax for gims4, I would swear I remember same clipping in the standard 3D View... I know it would be nice to scale in 3D View in locked yzx directions, so you can look at the object while you scalling in same viewport, I felt similar inconveniences when I started working in zmodeler.... however I just figured $39 a year, very nice tool.... well if all this will lead to improve ZM even more I ain't stopping you ['_']


Yeah, Max does have the same clipping issue by default but if you go into Configure Viewports, you can turn on Viewport Clipping, then you get a slider down the right hand side to adjust it. Using that you can remove all clipping. Max can be a bit confusing because there are configuration options in a few places for what seem to be the same thing. If you turn it on and then save a default file, it will always start with it enabled.

Image

This is a technically very competent tool but it's like Gimp when it first came out, good at what it could do but equally counter-productive at how it let you do things. If you make something for a niche segment of the creative community, it makes sense to take on board any feedback from members of that community. Because chances are, they've been creating for a very long time, so it's feedback based on experience. I started with 3DS Max in 1991 and Autodesk and all the other big names made progress by making the task of creating things easier. People wanted to animate figures, so they invented Character Studio. LODs are a pain to do manually, but there are some amazing tools that make them easier. UVMapping can be a pain but again, there are tools that make it easier. Maya brought BodyPaint to the table because artists said "It would be great if we could just paint on the model and it could work out the UV mapping for us" and that's what it did.

Things like ZBrush, Mudbox and Mari came about, because artists said "It would be great if we could do this...". I hear stories of people taking 40 - 50 hours to rig a car in ZM3, then I watch videos like this https://youtu.be/rz3Qdv12bT4 which is 45 hours to scratch build a car, fully UVMapped and rendered... that's what an efficient toolset lets you do. But if you see negative feedback as the enemy, then you can never move forward and trust me, any artistic person sees it as the enemy, until you realise how important it is. I never try to push people backwards, only forwards but I sense it isn't always seen that way. :( But if it creates a spark, or a moment of "what if...", then I'll take the flack that comes my way. No pain, no gain as they say. :D
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby Oleg » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:22 pm

I wasn't negative on any of your suggestions above. I'm just trying to categorize and find out more on each feature/suggestion I hear mentioned, considering I have no that much man-hours to implement most of them. Zmod would never compete industry standard packages in neither toolset nor quality, it's just barely possible to do. I try to concentrate on things that other tools can't do - exploring game file formats to make them import/exportable for editing. You've specified the vehicle/mod was done in 3dsmax, and that's absolutely fine to consider ZModeler as a conversion tool: setting up hierarchy, preparing materials and in some cases customizing uv mapping or rigging. No surface sculpting or painting (zbrush), no parametric surfaces with dynamic LODs generation, it's hell of job to do and it's already available in hi-quality packages on the market. Using ZM in combination with your preferred modelling tool is probably the best choice.

And still any feedback or suggestions are welcome, just don't be mislead that I can implement everything.

P.S. dock a toolbox (a bar with big buttons) on the left side of ZM window, it will give you more free vertical space in viewports.
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Re: Viewport Clipping solution?

Postby LeeC2202 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:45 am

I must first apologise, I didn't mean that you had been negative against anything I say, it's just that I tend to get caught up in the feedback process and many people see that in a negative way and I usually end up getting grief for it.

With regards to what you said... I completely understand and appreciate that, which is why I offered a less-complex suggestion of simply pressing a key to centre the pivot and to have the camera lock to selections. From your perspective, they are probably very easy to implement but from the user's perspective, they add massive amounts of time saving.

I know from my own experience how easy it is to think "This would be a great addition" and then to spend days adding it, and then people say "I can't see much use for that feature". I spent two months writing a mod that only I ended up having any interest in. :( Sometimes, it's the smallest things that make the biggest differences. I agree that it's not always possible to add industry standard features but industry standard doesn't always mean complex and impossible. Often, it just means simple and functional. So the ideal way is you let the industry drive things forward and then cherry pick those things that make the biggest difference.

As you rightly say, ZM3 is a good companion tool to use alongside a more dedicated modelling package but when two packages share basic functionality, like manipulation and navigation in a 3D environment, bridging that usability gap is even more beneficial. That way, each application feeds the user with knowledge that carries over to the companion application.

It's funny you mention the toolbars... in Photoshop, all my toolbars are stacked down the side. In Max, all the toolbars are stacked along the top or set as floating tabs. For some reason, my mind seems to want different layouts in 2D and 3D. I think it's because I spend more time rotating horizontally in 3D, so I need more width than height... my mind is quite bizarre sometimes. :oops:

Anyway, I won't trouble you any further and I genuinely apologise if anything I say seems harsh or overly critical. Too many years as a mentor I'm afraid, I can't help but try and push people forward. :(
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