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Monday, June 2, 2014

Copy Paste Paste Paste

I did not see this one coming. I must thank players for showing me this: Old-school copy and paste helps a lot when you are building with voxels. Take a look at this screenshot of a Landmark build:


It many not be obvious at a first glance, but a lot of what you see here is the result of copying and pasting.

It is true that non-voxel edition systems also have copying, but I believe this is a very different mechanic. A voxel clipboard is a new thing.

When you paste objects in a mesh based system (like Maya, or a traditional game engine editor), you are cloning objects or creating instances of them. This is very cool and allows you to do many invaluable tricks, however, every time you paste a new object goes into the scene. If you paste overlapping an existing object they do not merge into one. In some sense, pasting in mesh systems does not help you build a larger thing. You build an assembly of things.

In mesh based editors you get a sense that every paste counts. The scene complexity grows every time you press that Ctrl+V. Yes you could stack some boolean modifiers and have any new pasted meshes in them, but this is getting complex now. My interest is systems anyone at home can figure out.

Copy-Paste with voxels feels organic. It is more like the clipboard in a word processor. You get things you like and combine them in a new form. Then you copy the new form and use it as an element of something else. All this time you are working on only one thing, it remains simple in your mind. You are not leaving a long trail of objects behind you.

One thing is certain, we are taking the clipboard very seriously now. Here is a video showing some new cool tricks we are able to do:



There are still aliasing issues, just like with our line tool, so some configurations may not paste back into pristine conditions. I think this is alright as long as you remain aware of what the limits are. And of course, our plan is to continue to bring down these limits.


17 comments:

  1. I wish we had this in landmark. I don't know what kind of magic you are running here but aliasing issues with the said line tools are so much worse there. I get used to it, it seems logical when I imagine how exactly mesh is made from the voxels, but then I see your videos and I get blown away, I can't get my head over this.

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  2. I wonder when / if we'll get this same paste capability in Landmark. Currently, we can only rotate the voxel clipboard paste selection by 90 degrees

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  3. Wow this is neat! Though I was wondering... You have the option, when you paste your selection intersecting with terrain that already exists, to either only paste the voxels that don't change terrain, or replace all voxels- even the "earth" ones that were there already. How hard would it be to set up materials to be able to choose for themselves- like dirt be replaced by the clipboard contents, while stone stays the same and the clipboard fills its content around it? I hope my question is clear..

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  4. Dave Georgeson just said we are getting it in Landark, but no ETA

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  5. This is how Landmark should be.

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  6. Question... Can you rotate elements like micro voxel spikes?

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    Replies
    1. Microvoxel stuff will get deformed in most cases. Only 90 degree rotation is guaranteed to work.

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  7. How much difference in size is their between the material in the video and landmark, in terms of cube size, if you are at liberty to answer that question? Also could the rotated selection box become a secondary delete tool? And because I have gone this far, do you have fine enough control to use it as a way of generating shapes by rotating a profile?

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  8. Dammit Miguel awesome as usual but still not affordable to the average developer :(
    Do I have to beg you for this type of thing as a cheap unity plugin!!!

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    Replies
    1. We are working on this, making it more accessible. It is not trivial.

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  9. Why you do not release your voxel editor as a standalone software, with the option to save to a file format that would allow sharing models between the softwares that utilize VoxelFarm, maybe even the capability to export models compatible with 3D printers, and also a website to share models created by users.

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    1. Yes this is part of Voxel Farm's roadmap. I do not want to make any promises however, when it is out, it will be out :)

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  10. Good golly! I'd love to have that ability in Landmark.

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  11. Since the voxels get larger as you go farther away from the camera with LOD, how do you manage to keep such fine features from getting aliased, like those tiny features on top of the house?

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    Replies
    1. I copy pasted a link to the page where he explains that:

      http://procworld.blogspot.com/2013/08/lean-trees.html

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    2. I feel like there is more to it...
      |you see the limit is not really how thin a feature can be, but how close two thin features
      He still seems to have very fine features very close together even in the distance.

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