Seamless3d III Featuring a Greatly Simplified Interface

Version Update Index

2013 October 19, 22:24 GMT

Lucy on the catwalk movie Although Seamless3d 3 has evolved from version 2 and maintains being a general purpose modeller, this is the very first version (3.000) to be released after major changes have been made to the design, so please treat it like a prototype as it is not yet complete and there are many scenarios it can not yet deal with, however if you follow the Modelling a Human Head Step by Step Using Free Open Source Software tutorial video, which is very easy to follow, you have the certainty of being able to model a human head in your own style.

fouryear old

3.001 Update

2013 November 26, 11:23 GMT

3.001 has been made significantly more forgiving for beginners who make simple mistakes when following the Modelling a Human Head Step by Step tutorial.

The toolbar has been split in two so that the top bar is now at the top of the 3d window and the lower bar is at the bottom of the 3d window. The reason I made this change was because I realised when in animation mode, the lower bar is redundant and so I thought why not replace the lower bar with the Anim bar. Because this would result in the top bar moving up to make room for the Anim bar it seemed a better idea to split the bar so that the top bar can stay positioned permanently at the top of the 3d window. It annoyed me to make this change as the modelling a human head step by step tutorial will now look a little different to what the user sees but this tutorial is essentially up to date as the buttons look the same and function the same, just the top bar has changed its location.

The Anim bar now uses up the full width of the 3d window by default.

When seamless is put into skeleton edit mode, the lower toolbar changes so that it contains buttons that are in context for editing a skeleton. New bones can still be added by holding down the right control key while clicking but now the cursor changes to give feedback. Also to make seamless more self explanatory and be consistent with other operations, there is now a button the user can click to add bones. By default if the user drags a bone while in skeleton edit mode, all of the dependent bones will move with the bone being dragged same as before but now there is the option of being able to drag a bone without its descendent bones changing their location by clicking the toggle drag with descendants mode button.

A number of shortcut keys have been assigned for commonly used functions:
  • Space bar: Toggle zbuffer control cage mode
  • Left Alt space bar: Toggle backface ignore
  • o: Centre view to selected control point
  • V: Snap view orientation
  • R: Select ring
  • A: unactivate/activate selected control points
  • Ctrl E: Extrude
  • Ctrl I: Insert control line

If the user clicked the extrude button before selecting a control point, 3.000 would crash but 3.001 wont.

If the user accidently clicked on empty space (missed a control line) after clicking the insert control line button and then clicked anywhere inside the 3d window 3.000 would crash but 3.001 wont.

3.001 has had code added to end temporary modes automatically to make seamless less critical for the user to remember to click done, for example, after adding a lathe.

If the user clicked undo and then tried to hide the grid, the grid would not hide for 3.000 but it does for 3.001

When creating a NurbsLine, 3.000 would crash. This bug has been fixed for 3.001

There are now 2 rotation levers in Anim mode and the Anim levers reset when the view is changed the same as for modelling mode.

A field drag3dSensitivity has been added to the Settings control panel so that the mouses sensitivity can now be adjusted when dragging in the 3d window.

Many thanks to Carlos for his feedback and bug reports.

3.002 Update

2014 February 24, 05:15 GMT

A new hands modelling tutorial has been uploaded. With this and future tutorials in mind, 3.002 addresses a number of issues which makes Seamless3d easier to use.

Adding Boxes more uniform with adding lathes

When adding a box the length width and height can now be set and 2 boxes will be added in mirror mode.

Adding Spheres more uniform with adding lathes

When adding a sphere the radius can now be set and 2 spheres will be added in mirror mode.

Grouping patches made more effective

Seamless3d III made it so patches do not need to reference part nodes. This significantly reduced the clutter in the scene tree window but it is still nice to be able to specify different parts for different groups of patches in a model. This desire has been addressed by making it so that a group of patches contained in a GroupBuild node will now generate triangles for the part referenced by the GroupBuild.

When a lathe, sphere or box is now converted to a patch/s, a BuildGroup node is added to contain the patch/s.

When importing patches from a file a BuildGroup node is automatically added for the imported patches if they do not already have one.

Object Select mode functionality

Object Select mode now has some functionality added. In Object select mode you can now select an Object (a Seamless node) by simply clicking on its geometry in the 3d window. In the future you will also be able to select a Camera/Viewpoint or a Light. Pink lines mark the selected object.

X Y X drag filter

You can now globally filter which dimensions you can drag any number of selected points by opening the control point selection control panel (click the pink flower button) and using the xTug, yTug and zTug check boxes.

Create mirror polygons for selected part working in BNSPE

In poly edit mode you can now create an exact mirror copy of your triangle structure for the opposite side selected (a selected vertex selects the side) by clicking the mirror part button. This works for BNSPE (Borderless Nurbs Surface Poly Editing).

Automatically add parts when importing patches

You no longer have to manually add parts with matching names when importing patches and build nodes that reference parts because when seamless can not find a matching name it will now add a new part.

Drag view in paint mode

When in paint mode if you drag on empty space you can pan the view same as you can in other modes so long as the paint brush radius is out of range of any triangles.

New inside out part button for poly edit mode

In Poly Edit mode you can now create polygons for a selected part inside out. This function departs from using copy and paste, instead you select the part for the source then click the inside out button which will open a control panel which contains an add check box and an ok button. While the control panel is open you can select a different part for the destination polygons.

Visual radius for paint brush

A circle around the center point of the paint brush is displayed in the 3d window as a helfull visual clue to show the colour and size of the brush.

Adjust brush radius using mouse wheel

You can now adjust the radius for the paint brush and the radial tug using the mouse wheel if you hold down the left control key.

Part selection in paint mode made easier

You can now select a different part in the scene tree window without switching out of paint mode.

Frequent crashes in paint mode fixed

A bug that would often crash seamless when using the paint brush has been fixed.

Sphere conversion issue fixed

When converting a sphere to a patch the type of patch was incompatible for stitch patch modelling. This has now been fixed.

Import patch auto name fail fixed

In some scenarios seamless would fail to create a patch with a unique name when importing patches. This has now been fixed.

Recent files link crash fixed

A Crash could result from clicking on a link in the recent files list if the file opened into paint mode. This has now been fixed.

Nurbs lathe orientation spindle bug fixed

The mouse cursor failing to change state after moving the cursor away from the nurbs lathe orientation spindle when adding a lathe has been fixed.

3.003 Update

2014 November 18 GMT 00:19

Please see the video made to accompany the release of this version: Seamless3d 3.003, Water Crisis, Antechinus, Winter Vlog

Diversions more reliable

Most of the time spent on the upgrade has been on making Seamless be able to deal with a wide range of scenarios when diverting a control line.

Positive symbol shown when adding a lathe

A positive symbol (plus sign) is now displayed at the base of the lathe's spindle when adding a lathe. This is to indicate which side of the lathe the user should start adding their control points at. The user should start on the positive side and move in the direction the end of the spindle is pointing to if it is desired for the lathe to begin being visible on the outside.

Export Obj working again

In the upgrade to the new layout for Seamless3d 3, the menu for exporting obj files was broken. This is back working again for 3.003

Techuelife Island working again for Seamless chat

3.002 made it so that you no longer have to manually add parts with matching names when importing patches but this apparently did not extend to other build nodes such as spheres and boxes which has been addressed for 3.003

Automatically add parts when importing spheres, boxes, lathes etc. too

3.002 made it so that you no longer have to manually add parts with matching names when importing patches but this apprently did not extend to other build nodes such as spehres and boxes which has been addresed for 3.003

Boxes & Spheres can be added in other dimensions

Until now, boxes and spheres could only be added to a xzPlane. With 3.003, boxes and spheres can be added to any plane that is specified for the grid.

Boxes can be added negative side of grid

Whether you’re looking down at the grid or up to it, forward, backward, left or right, boxes can be added to the grid.

Fixed add lathe bug

When adding a lathe, a bug would occur if the user accidently dragged the mouse when selecting a point to set the orientation of the lathe. This has been fixed for 3.003

Fix import node bug

When importing nodes from another file, a bug could occur depending on what names were used for the nodes. This has been fixed for 3.003

3.004 Update

2017 January 25 15:54 GMT

During the last 2 years since I last uploaded I have been busy using seamless every day, debugging and making refinements. Though you will be able to notice some changes, none are too great to break any of the tutorials written for Seamless3d 3. There are still a number of bugs I very much want to fix but because this version has significant improvements, it seems a good idea to upload what I have now for the new year.

Easier to click on a control point

To assist targeting a control point, a visual aid to mark the point will appear when the mouse is over the point to indicate it will be selected if clicked on. This feature allows for a greater range around the mouse pointer reducing the amount of time needed in getting the mouse close enough to the target.

Extra clickable points added to the rotation/control lever

lever points The rotation/control lever has additional points around the green points so that the user can determine the function of the lever using only the mouse instead of being dependent on keyboard keys for this. A beginner who does not follow tutorials will sooner or later notice how the cursor changes when it passes over these points and learn the functionality of each point from just playing.

In testing the new lever, I have occasionally accidentally clicked on one of the new points around the rotation points while trying to click on something else which has made me question if adding extra points is an improvement. I think the new lever will make seamless easier for beginners but I have added the option of being able to switch off the new points for more experienced users who may prefer using keys. Switching off the extra clickable points can be done by opening the settings control panel and unticking the multiPointLever checkbox.

Manual stitch editing

stitching nurbs patches thumbnail The work gone into making seamless so that there is no need to manually stitch patches together to model a structure as complex as a human head is what makes Seamless3d 3 easy to use but users can benefit from manually stitching patches together. Manual stitching allows for transplanting parts such as a nose, a mouth, or hands from one model to another. With manual stitching it is easier to make complex structures such as a human ear with greater detail. See the new tutorial Stitching Nurbs Patches for more info.

Looping control lines

Control lines can now be inserted into a model that loop. This in effect allows us to be able to extrude more than a single point.

Indexing of control points

Until this version, stitching relied on the physical location of points to determine which points are stitched together. This worked fine for most scenarios but could pose problems when you did not want points to join together like in a mouth for example which you may want to model it closed but want the option of the mouth opening for animation. This is not a problem with this version because points no longer automatically fuse together just because of where you happen to leave your points.

Hiding polygons belonging to hidden patches

Polygons belonging to certain patches can be hidden from view by hiding the patches (hiding the cages more specifically) when the toggle hide polygons in hidden patches button is active.

NURBS IK animation

NURBS IK The big problem I encountered with Inverse Kinematics for walking legs was there was a need for the legs to straighten for a period in the walk cycle. When knees go from being straight to slightly bent they can be very unstable giving rise to jerky movement. Fine tuning can help but fixing the jerks felt more like a black art than a science for me. Blending FK and IK during the walk cycle can make things feel more logical in what to do to bypass the jerks but this complicates the task which I fear is likely to scare away beginners. My latest approach is to have the limb automatically bend so that the joints automatically touch a point in a curved line. This line is derived from 2 curved lines defined by the artist, one of the lines is short, the other is too long for the last joint in the IK calculation (the ankle in the case of a leg) to reach the end of the curved line. Seamless uses these 2 user defined lines to create a line that is just the right length for the last joint to reach the end of the line. I have not yet had enough time to fully test this method but I am encouraged from what I have experienced so far, I love how stable a limb keeps while going from straight to slightly bent.

Files generated for POV-Ray with perspective fixed

Seamless3d has been fixed so that what you see in the 3d scene with perspective enabled is now what you see when scenes are rendered with POV-Ray.

Graphic interface for Dim filter

The mouse can now be prevented from dragging control points in 2 of the dimensions by clicking the dim filter button and then clicking on the arrow that points in the dimension the user wishes to drag in. Dragging in 2 dimensions simultaneously can also be performed by clicking on one of the points that adjoins 2 of the arrows. If the left Alt key is kept down while dragging control points, the user can drag in the selected dimension/s without needing to reselect the dimension each time. The graphic interface replaces the xTug, yTug or zTug check boxes.

Radical patch

radical patch example When modifying a face I will typically want to try scaling different areas of the face like the mouth for example which can be done by selecting the points in the mouth and scaling the selected points. This often works out well but typically I want to scale the selected points different amounts depending on the positions of the points which lead me to develop the radical patch for 3.004. See the new tutorial Radical Patch for more info.

Smoothing patch

I have for a long time thought about smoothing patches that have many control lines close together with a patch that has fewer control lines. This idea has been put into practice for 3.004. See the new tutorial Smoothing a Surface with a Smoothing Patch for more info.

Added features for NurbsLines

sketching with nurbs lines

A lot of work has gone into improving the NurbsLine. When adding a new NurbsLine, a mirror line can also be simultaneously added much the same way as when adding a new NurbsLathe. The colour of a new line is now determined by the selected colour in the palette which can be set in paint mode. If you want a line to loop, you can now click on the first point when adding a new line to complete the task.

A number of functions that apply to nurbs patches have been extended to nurbs lines. NurbsLines can be duplicated using the duplicate selected patches and duplicate mirror patches buttons. Lines can be merged using the merge patches and cut using the cut patches buttons.

A new feature I find very useful is converting lines to patches using the butterfly button. See the new tutorial Sketching with Nurbs Lines for more info using nurbs lines.

Duplicating patches

The duplicate selected patches button now functions. To duplicate, first select the patches using the rectangle selection tool and then click the duplicate selected patches button. This will open a control panel that offers a number of options before completing the function by clicking the ok button.

Duplicate mirror patches

The duplicate mirror patches button now functions. This function creates duplicate patches in mirror form from any patches selected at the time of clicking the duplicate mirror patches button.

Hide cage function extensions

Two new buttons have been added to assist hiding cages for patches, show selected groups and hide selected groups. The functionality of these 2 buttons are similar to show selected cages and hide selected cages but apply to all the rest of the patches contained in the same group as the selected patches. For example, all of the cages for the patches contained in a GroupBuild node can now be shown by clicking on only one control point. I have found this to be very helpful.

Select all points for selected patches

All of the points in the selected patches can now be selected by clicking the select all points in selected patches button. So for example, we can select all the points in a hand with precision without needing to worry about where exactly the patches for the hand begins in the arm.

Camera with look at point

Seamless3d uses a Viewpoint node for the camera which it has inherited from VRML. Using only a position and orientation field to keep the camera focused on a character's face when the character is moving has proven to be needlessly awkward, so I have added 3 new fields: aim, lookAt and up to the Viewpoint node. When the aim field is ticked the position, lookAt and up fields automatically calculate the value for the orientation field. The position, lookAt and up fields can be directly set using the Viewpoint's control panel or set by dragging the blue position, yellow lookAt and green up control points when Seamless3d is in select object mode.

Reduced sensitivity for changing the orientation of the view

I have greatly reduced the sensitivity for changing the orientation of the view when using the mouse (right drag). I felt surprised by how erratic and horrible it felt when I tried the old setting after testing out the new setting. It's funny how you don't realise how bad things can be when you are use to it.

Closer nurbs control points take priority

When clicking on a nurbs control point there may be more than one point within clickable range while only one point is visible due to the control point or geometry hiding the others. I have made it now so that when there is more than one within range the closest to the screen gets clicked.

Unselecting points bug fix

The rectangle selection tool along with it the unselect feature predates Seamless3d 3. Unfortunately there was a bug that would appear quite often (but not often enough to make it easy to catch) when unselecting points. This most annoying bug would cause selected points to jump erratically when dragged. Because I was aware of it I would try to avoid unselecting points which delayed the bug getting fixed but i am pleased to say it is now fixed for 3.004 so I no longer hesitate to unselect points :)

Known bug added

From time to time I experience 3.004 crash when I click on a control point in the rotation/control lever or a control point in the dim filter. I don’t recall this bug appearing in previous versions. Because I don’t yet know what scenario makes this bug assert itself, it is not an easy bug to catch but I am feeling confident I will be able to soon follow this version with a fix.

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