Everything related to the integration for SketchUp.
User avatar
By Richard
#330420
With a few requests creeping in for the new plugin I thought I'd start a separate thread. Hopefully JD can make this a sticky).

I'll start with just the one that I haven't made previously. I'll grab the other scatterings I've posted to here so they become a reference, others might do the same.
Last edited by Richard on Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Richard
#330421
ON EXPORT NAMING OPTION:

When one exports direct to render or as MXS from the saved / named SKP, the dialogue that opens to ask do you want to overwrite the existing MXS, to read - Yes / No / Cancel.

Yes - overwrite,
No - save as dialogue opens to permit naming / location of export,
Cancel - cancel.

I'm enjoying the file exporting to the SKP saved location, given previously it would save god knows where if one neglected to set a path (ie me almost always), though no option to save to alternative file name is an opposing killer.
By JDHill
#330424
You do know that you can set an explicit output directory/filename at the top of Scene Manager > Options, correct?

I want to keep the overwrite dialog you are talking about as a simple Yes/No, and not introduce another 'Save As' dialog over the top of it -- if that's the behavior you are after, you should use SketchUp's own Export > 3D Model dialog, which should already act exactly the way you are describing.

(I'll make the thread a sticky, btw -- I suppose it's about time for this)
User avatar
By Richard
#330425
JDHill wrote:I want to keep the overwrite dialog you are talking about as a simple Yes/No, and not introduce another 'Save As' dialog over the top of it -- if that's the behavior you are after, you should use SketchUp's own Export > 3D Model dialog, which should already act exactly the way you are describing.
JD will this still launch the file straight to render as previous? That is fine option fo me!
By JDHill
#330428
Well, no it won't, it will just write the MXS file where you tell it to, as should be expected for a file exporter in that menu (I though it was pretty weird that you would launch a render from that dialog in the old plugin).

So, if I changed the overwrite dialog to Yes/No/Cancel, where No = Save As, what do you think should be done with the filename you choose there? Should it just be used temporarily for that export, or should it be pushed back into the scene data (i.e. Scene Manager > Output > Name & Folder)?
User avatar
By Richard
#330430
JDHill wrote:So, if I changed the overwrite dialog to Yes/No/Cancel, where No = Save As, what do you think should be done with the filename you choose there? Should it just be used temporarily for that export, or should it be pushed back into the scene data (i.e. Scene Manager > Output > Name & Folder)?
Oh shite, hmm thats a point! I guess given the reason one might most choose to select a new name would be when the original SU doc is under going testing, if the name were to be pushed into the scene then at least when the original file is to be overwritten with an export one can again say no to the udated renamed export and search the original.
User avatar
By stefan_kaplan
#330445
Here are some requests. Some of them I've posted before, but here they come anyway:

General comments:
- Ability to make own defaults (e.g. for Sampling Level in Material Preview). This could be implemented beneath the reset option in the control’s context menu.
- When using a Custom Preset, the Preset-name should be shown at the top of the tab. Instead of showing "custom presets" it could say eg. "preset: Multilight On" if "Multilight On" was the name of the Custom Preset.
- Ability to press "Enter" after entering a value instead of clicking somewhere else in the window.
- Toolbar icons without the "disc-look" which I think indicates a "save"-command and neither "export" nor "browse".
- Toolbar icon "Scene Manager" moved to a more 'important' position, away from "select tool", "Depth of field" and "Focus distance". The icon (I believe) should be changed - now it looks like a simple draw-tool and not an important menu.

Material-tab:
- Material Preview: implement STOP-action! (or double click the material preview to stop the render progress - as in the Maxwell Material Editor).
- Transparent materials in SketchUp should be converted to AGS on export (?). At the moment transparent SketchUp-materials render strange. See example below!
- Ability to export SketchUp-material as MXM and open it in Material Editor.

Scenes:
- Now, SketchUp Scenes remember settings made in the Camera-tab. They should also remember settings from the Environment-tab. The enviroment settings should not be set globally but should be connected to the different SketchUp-scenes (just like the camera settings).

Environment-tab:
- Sun on/off unlinked to SketchUp. I would prefer a completely unlinked shadow-setting (or an option to link/unlink to application).


Here is an example of the strange AGS-situation.

This graphic shows a SketchUp model with "Glass":
In each window-frame the glass to the left is just a transparent SketchUp-material, the glass in the middle is a transparent SketchUp-material in "AGS-mode" set in the Maxwell Scene Manager, and the glass to the right is a true AGS created in Material Editor using the Wizard.
Image


Here is the rendered result:
Image


The result is SO much better using an AGS created in Material Editor!!! The color in the glazing and the reflections disappears or acts strange when using SketchUp to produce AGS. Please change the way an AGS is created from SketchUp so it matches the Material Editor's wizard.
Here you can download a zip-file with .skp and .mxms

/Stefan
By JDHill
#330452
Thanks Stefan -- of course I have lots of these things on my list, from your original posting, but some other issues have taken priority.

On the question of AGS, it's not really so simple as that. Remember that the plugin has only two SketchUp parameters to work with, color and opacity, and it must decide based on those two things, which type of material it should create for you.

Just because opacity in your SketchUp material is set to something less than 100% does not mean that you think of that material as glass. One of the scenes that I test against here comes to mind; it happens to have a whole lot of semi-transparent trees. Obviously they are not meant to be glass -- they want to be a diffuse, yet transparent, material in Maxwell.

Furthermore, where MXED sets the Nd of your AGS at 20.0, I do not, because in most cases, that will result in a building facade that is much too reflective; the AGS I create in the material editor generally uses a more realistic Nd, so that actual buildings will look somewhat realistic when rendered.

You will not get an Nd=20 AGS using the plugin's Automatic material Character, but you can if you switch to its AGS Character, which gives you control over Nd. The main difference between AGS in the plugin and MXED when you do that will be that I use a more glass-like Reflectance 90° of white, where MXED uses the same color in Reflectance 0° and Reflectance 90°. Since glass coatings are metallic in nature, I'll see how it works if I do a similar thing here.

In contrived tests like the one you show here, some of the results may not seem to make sense, but if you test against a good number of typical architectural SketchUp models, I think you should find that the plugin is doing the right thing in lots of cases. Unfortunately, I can't really show much here, since the models I am using to test are mostly professional ones that I got from customers.
User avatar
By stefan_kaplan
#330458
Yes, that makes good sence.


Still, I think the material produced with the "Automatic" Character should be an AGS that matches an AGS made in Material Editor, with (almost) same color in refltance 0 and 90 - because this solution would be closer to a WYSIWYG-experience.
(Btw as far as I can see, the AGS produced with the "Automatic" Character has an nd of 2.5)

I like the fact that when you choose to use the "AGS" Character you automatically get a white reflectance 90-color, which is closer to reality.
In the "AGS" Character you can control the Nd and it would be great to be able to control the amount of reflection (Opacity/Mask-number) as well, with 12.5 as default, just like the Material Editor (or is this controlled by the SketchUp opacity-slider? ;) )

As things are now, you don't have the option to use a transparent SketchUp material that renders as a diffuse, yet transparent, material in Maxwell - because both the "Automatic" Character and the "AGS" Character produce reflective, transparent AGS-materials.
It would be great if there was an option to create such a transparent, diffuse material from a transparent SketchUp material.

I imagine that an AGS glass-material for window-glazing and so on is mostly used without textures.
I imagine that transparent SketchUp-materials with textures are usualy not reflective (like the trees that you mentioned).

The "Automatic" Character could therefore work in this way:
- When using a transparent SketchUp material WITHOUT a texture - produce a WYSIWYG-AGS-material.
- When using a transparent SketchUp material WITH a texture - produce a typical diffuse mxm with a texture, where "Opacity/Mask-number is controlled by the SketchUp opacity slider.


Result would be:

SketchUp-material (Red, opacity 50%):
Image

"Automatic" Character (WYSIWYG):
Image

"AGS" Character:
default Nd 1,51: Image and optionally changed Nd to 20: Image

_____________

SketchUp-material (Brick-texture, 50% opacity):
Image

"Automatic" Character (WYSIWYG):
Image

/Stefan
By JDHill
#330460
As things are now, you don't have the option to use a transparent SketchUp material that renders as a diffuse, yet transparent, material in Maxwell - because both the "Automatic" Character and the "AGS" Character produce reflective, transparent AGS-materials.
Not exactly -- it depends on your SketchUp material's opacity, as well as the lightness and saturation of its color. The actual rule used is:
  • IF (opacity < 100.0) AND (color.L >= 0.5 OR color.S < 0.1) THEN { make AGS }
Whatever the case, the generated MXM layer opacity is controlled by the SketchUp opacity. I found through alot of testing that this was a pretty good combination -- usually it guesses correctly about what the user meant their SketchUp material to represent. Of course, logic like this cannot be correct 100% of the time, and it would be unnecessary if SketchUp materials just had a reflectivity parameter.
Btw as far as I can see, the AGS produced with the "Automatic" Character has an nd of 2.5
You're right -- I quoted that wrong: I was originally using 1.51, but now I recall that this gave too-weak reflections in most test cases, since the AGS is built using layer opacity. Much higher than 2.5 though, and the reflection of the sun off of buildings/etc. begins to look quite unrealistic.

Also, I cannot assume that a textured material is not also meant to be a glass material; for example, one of my main test scenes is an office building with a huge glass facade, and all of that glass is textured in SketchUp.
User avatar
By Richard
#330488
Hey Stefan thanks for your post! You've covered much of those little things in the scene manger and icons I keep struggling with the scene manager icon!

And totally agree sun off / on should not be linked to SU given the scene load in SU and the drag of turning shadows on!

Agree also scenes retaining environment and camera settings. As it's also a great undo feature!

HIDE DIALOGUE:

In regards to the Scene manager behaviour is it possible to have the manager adopt the same user defined shortcut for "hide all dialogues" which in SU has show / hide toggling! I keep closing the manager out (duh) and it takes for ever to reopen on my system.

Or at least minimise on double click on top frame, so you dont need to be so accurate!
By JDHill
#330489
Sorry, Richard, but the dialog is SketchUp's -- what is inside of it is mine. So really, both of your requests need go to Google.
By numerobis
#330499
stefan_kaplan wrote: - Ability to press "Enter" after entering a value instead of clicking somewhere else in the window.
- Toolbar icons without the "disc-look" which I think indicates a "save"-command and neither "export" nor "browse".
- Toolbar icon "Scene Manager" moved to a more 'important' position, away from "select tool", "Depth of field" and "Focus distance". The icon (I believe) should be changed - now it looks like a simple draw-tool and not an important menu.

Scenes:
- Now, SketchUp Scenes remember settings made in the Camera-tab. They should also remember settings from the Environment-tab. The enviroment settings should not be set globally but should be connected to the different SketchUp-scenes (just like the camera settings).

Environment-tab:
- Sun on/off unlinked to SketchUp. I would prefer a completely unlinked shadow-setting (or an option to link/unlink to application).
Thanks yor posting these points. This could have been my list :wink:
An option to disable the sun linking is the most important for me... i always forget to re-enable the sun before i hit the render button :mrgreen:
User avatar
By stefan_kaplan
#330524
numerobis wrote:Thanks yor posting these points. This could have been my list :wink:
You are welcome to use these alternative icons, that I posted earlier in another thread (you are welcome as well, JD ;) ):
Export MXS: Image , Image
Browse For An MXM File: Image , Image

I think they are more logical and easy to interpret.

/Stefan
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