2.109 is ready for download from:http://www.seamless3d.com/download
For the last 3 days I have completely shut myself away from the world/internet while I created 5 new specialised build nodes for seamless. I feel these new nodes will make it a lot easier for beginners to get accustomed to working with build nodes.
These 5 build nodes are highly specialised for creating the basic geometric shapes, Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, Box and Torus.
The 5 nodes for making these shapes are called:
The CylinderBuild node can also have each end variably rounded independently, making it much more versatile than a regular flat ended only cylinder. It should be much more suited for making simple type avatars from cylinders and spheres.
The ConeBuild also has an extra feature, same as PovRay, the top end can finish with a flat top (like a tradition Welsh woman's hat), by specifying a top radius "topRad".
These build nodes should not only make life easier for beginners but also for advanced users, especially when I add a disassemble feature that will let the user convert these simple nodes to nodes like Stem, CCLathe, CCBend etc. which in fact create the shapes for these node behind the scenes.
Most of the development on seamless for the last 5 years has been spent on developing the functionality for the Build nodes and the interfaces for them.
Unfortunately, for beginners I present the immediate way of editing polygons as in introduction because I have thought this way is probably the easiest way to begin with seamless but I am hoping these 5 build nodes will change all this.
What I realise, is build nodes are not only faster for getting perfect smooth shapes made, they are typically more stimulating than immediate editing and they actually bypass a number of problems that get encountered by beginners who use immediate editing!
Scaling can be very intuitive way to make big changes to a shape but it also can invite problems such as counter scaling parts if the scaling is affecting lots of descendent parts.
Each one of the build nodes has a "descendents" field that is off by default. Only when it is on will it affect the decedent parts so this should bypass this common problem beginners fall into.
Also because these build nodes do all their transforming statically, they don't modify the part's dynamic scale fields and so there is no need to use (or explain) an immediate "compileTransform" command.
Please see my simple example file:http://www.seamless3d.com/img/5_new_geo ... nodes.smls
to see the new nodes being demonstrated and how they are used in the scene tree.
Anyone should be able to play with these new nodes and pretty much figure out what all the fields do without needing a manual
Some Points that might help to note:
Build nodes creates there whole shape from scratch each time you change any field in a build node.
A Build node is not a shape in it self, it creates the shape for the Part it references.
To reference a Part node, hold down the ALT key and drag a Part node to the right of the Build node. (the part node must be an existing node that belongs to the Seamless node (including any parts that are decedents))
Build nodes function sequentially in order as in like a list from top to bottom in the scene tree.
Because build nodes keep building everything from scratch, if you want to tug vertices or delete triangles in an immediate editing way, you must delete all build nodes that reference the part you want to hand edit. But please consider using other means to modify the shape because once it is no long being built in a build cycle, it no longer has all the advantages (such as being able to change the staves and vertices at any time in the future)
If you are a beginner always check clearCycle for any part that is referenced by a build node (unless you want to delete the build node after). clearCycle erases many of the fields for a part (including scale, rotation, transform coord (and all triangles belonging to the part)) at the beginning of a build cycle. This results in more efficient unDo operations and reduces smls file size significantly. Also it can avoid confusion to begin with a blank slate (a cleared part) I have found a number of times.
Besides the new 5 build nodes for 2.109.
TimeSensor nodes can now be converted to Anim nodes by right clicking on a TimeSensor and selecting "convertToAnim"
2.109 has undergone a number of important bug fixes.
2.109 introduces the option of letting the user add a setup function to any Build node. This MemberFunction is called each time just before the build node performs it's "doBuild". This feature should be very powerful, enabling the user to write complex mathematical formulas for build nodes. Just being able to assign a field to PI * a value (as opposed to remembering long numbers) should be usefull.
The following changes wont be understood by anyone except for more advanced Build node users:
-1 can now be used instead of adding very large numbers for any fields that is called "numOf"
The "vertexLen" field from the branchJoin fields have been renamed to "numOf" (old names will automatically be changed by seamless when loaded)
The TransferVertex field's "toVertex" has been changed to a "numOf" type (and renamed to "numOf") making the different build node concepts more uniform. (thanks to bumpy for this suggestion)
The ECScale, CCScale and CCRadialScale have had their fields fNegX, pNegX, fNegZ, pNegZ changed to negX, negX, negZ, negZ and the concept simplified. You can think of these values as scaling the "scale envelop". For example by default 1 is the value that has no scaling effect, If changed to .5 then .5 with be the value that has no scaling effect in the "scale envelop".
Place nodes now have a descendents field (same as the new specialised node) When it is checked it's Transform fields affects all descendent parts. It shares it's meaning from the BranchJoin node.
Sorry I missed the weekend, I am totally exhausted from getting this version ready to be uploaded but it is nothing a good sleep wont fix and I am very happy about where everything is heading