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ARCHIMATIX PRO Node-based Parametric Modeling for Unity [Unity Awards Finalist]

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by roryo, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. RuinsOfFeyrin

    RuinsOfFeyrin

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    ::waves credit card around while yelling "TAKE MY MONEY"::
     
  2. roryo

    roryo

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    If you guys can hold out for a few more days, it would be easier for sales to transpire via the asset store. Also, if there is any sizable pent up demand (and hopefully there is some ;)), then you brave adventurers busting down the doors of the asset store will help to give some initial momentum to Archimatix, serving as the inspiring vanguard of the parametric modeling revolution! *dropping the microphone* :)
     
  3. Sheriziya

    Sheriziya

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    /.Me scrapes every last penny (or as we say in Dutch: every last red cent, remembering the good ol' times ) together to help with the busting
     
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  4. RuinsOfFeyrin

    RuinsOfFeyrin

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    I dont know man, i dont know. Every day i don't spend the money on Archimatix is a day there is a chances of me spending it on strippers and booze.... if the day comes its released, and i don't buy it... just know that somewhere there is an illegitimate child whose school supplies were indirectly purchased with funds ear marked for Archimatix.
     
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  5. Whippets

    Whippets

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    Maybe today/tonight so we have it for the weekend XD

    Remember to help Rory as well, by getting them 5* reviews in, even if they are brief to start with. Every one raises the profile of Archimatix in the UAS.
     
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  6. Whippets

    Whippets

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    15 days since submission. Gotta be here soon now
     
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  7. roryo

    roryo

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    Not sure if the asset store team is in the US, but we had a bank holiday last Monday, so today is the 10th business day since submission. They could all still be manning the asset store kiosk in the Unity booth at GDC.
     
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  8. RuinsOfFeyrin

    RuinsOfFeyrin

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    While we wait, i have some questions for you roryo.

    1) Im assuming all the code for the node display and stuff is done in Editor UI?
    2) Was any pre-thought given during coding to later facilitate moving it out of the editor an into the Scene View?
    3) Any thoughts on directly exporting to .obj or something along those lines instead of a pre-fab in unity?
    4) Have you given any thoughts to an on-line repository of Archimatix objects that is browseable/downloadable from within unity? Basically people could upload either a finished stamped out model, or they could upload the node scene (i dont know what you call it) that contains all the info on the nodes and people could download that and tweak things.

    Im sure you can see where im going with this... with a few tweaks and such, Archamatix is a viable stand-alone product.
     
  9. Teila

    Teila

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    It is always slow after GDC or Unite. I imagine we will have it by Monday, hopefully, depending on how many other items were submitted in the last 10 days or so.
     
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  10. roryo

    roryo

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    1. Yes - pure c# use of Unity API and all source included.
    2. There is a lot you can do in scene view already, but I would like to add relation building to scene view (such as specifying that the height of the stair is always equal to the transY of the floor deck.) Such relations can only be defined in the graph editor currently. Perhaps also some contextual menus to click on an object and "repeat" it, silently adding a GridRpeater to the graph, etc.
    3. Hopefully .obj export will be in the first update.
    4. Yes! Can't wait to get an object exchange going. I think people swapping shapes and objects will make for a powerful and productive (and fun) AX community. Currently, when you save a node (or graph) as an object to the library, you can easily email it to a collaborator, since the whole graph is serialized as JSON text. Even a large model like the Villa Apresto is only a few K, since it is not storing mesh data, only parametric values. When they place it in their asset folder (anywhere) it will show up in their library sidebar. But would be even better to submit it to an exchange with meta data for functional type (stair), genre (medieval), etc. for discoverability.

    For stand alone, we'll see where the future takes us. I started trying to do something like AX as a plugin for Softimage (back in the 1900's), then for Maya, then for Cinema4D. In each case I found too much api/GUI friction and C++ memory issues. When I started developing in Unity (about 3 years ago), I found it to be such a joy! And so here we are. A downside of standalone is not only C++ engineering (I have gotten too spoiled by c#!), but also, with a stand alone, one loses the benefits of in editor model-play-repeat workflow sans import.

    Great questions, @RuinsOfFeyrin!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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  11. roryo

    roryo

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    I hope you're right @Teila! Then again, maybe it won't be so bad to have have a few more days of peace and quiet before the teaming masses rush in! Now, *putting slippers and smoking jacket on*, where did I put that box of Bonbons!
     
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  12. Xepherys

    Xepherys

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    Well, it can be C# and standalone. I don't think I'd ever purposefully code in C++ again lol.
     
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  13. RuinsOfFeyrin

    RuinsOfFeyrin

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    Hey.

    With regards to my questions

    1. I ment the nodes themselves, are they built on top of the UnityEditor namespace? or using the UnityEngine.UI namespace? The reason im asking is obvious built using the first way means nodes can only be created/edited/ etc while in the editor itself, meaning there is no way in a standalone build to view the node editor.

    2) This question assumed that the node viewer/editor was built on the UnityEditor namespace. Basically asking if you had given any thought during the design process and separated out the node logic, from the node view? Basically asking if the node_view can be written in UnityEngine.UI namespace without having to re-invent each node.

    3 & 4) If you would ever like any help with these two, feel free to let me know. I have experience doing both. I have written a voxel modeling program, and support PROPERLY exporting to .obj (would not be much to rip out the code and clean up for use with something else).

    The modeling program also supports an online-repository similar to what i mentioned here. So I have the relevant experience when it comes to setting up the backend (server, php, sql, etc) portion of that, as well securely communicating and uploading and downloading from within unity.

    You kind lost me at the end when you said you lose the benefit of model-play-repeat workflow.. im not sure i understand what you mean. Unless you simply mean the node editor portion is Unity Editor Only, and thus would be lost in a standalone build.
     
  14. roryo

    roryo

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    *TECH SPOILER ALERT* hehe

    1. and 2. The codebase is split between Core and Editor. The node classes in the core are not extensions of unity classes.The Shape (spline) classes are also independent. The Generator classes are the bridge from the independent node classes to creating Unity Meshes so they are somewhat dependent on UnityEngine, but not UnityEditor. These could later be easily adapted to support other mesh data structures. The system was designed to be ready for runtime generation, so the forthcoming runtime API will of course not reference the Editor code at all, but will reference the UnitEngine stuff, etc.

    3 & 4. That sounds great! I too have have lots of experience developing LAMP-based online communities (things were tough back in the late-1900's... we had to walk uphill, both ways!), but I have had my fill of it! I have taken a look at .obj and thought that I wouldn't mind some help to have that export not be a hack.

    At the end, I meant, its nice to model in editor rather than in an external application and then importing meshes into Unity, if that's what you meant by a "Stand-alone product".
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  15. RuinsOfFeyrin

    RuinsOfFeyrin

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    Hey,

    Thanks for the quick replies.

    Looks like you thought out the code structure a lot, very impressive, and good to hear.

    I see what you mean now as far as the "flow"... but that's just within unity.... There is other software out there that could totally benefit from this. By providing a stand-alone version, you allow people to do their parametric modeling in your software, and then bring it in to any other software they may want or need to use it in. Now obviously they could download unity, install it, buy your asset on the store, do all their modeling in unity, export to obj from unity, and then go to their other software and import it.... but a standalone version would mean they just need your software... they don't need to download and install the whole unity editor and deal with the asset store, etc.

    Basically I think it would open an additional revenue stream for you outside of the unity asset store. Sure people who use unity could, and probably would just purchase your product off the asset store in unity, but if that's the only way to use the software, i think you are limiting your available audience.

    Again, maybe I'm crazy, but i think you have something here man. Something more than "just for unity" unless they want to give you a chunk of change to keep it that way. I have been using unity for years now, and I have YET to purchase an asset off the asset store. Your software will be the first, and probably the last for awhile. There is like 3 other ones i wouldn't mind having, but i don't NEED, and they are things i can purchase and add in to my projects at a later date if i opt to go that way. Hopefully that speaks to the quality of what you have done here man.
     
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  16. roryo

    roryo

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    Wow - thanks @RuinsOfFeyrin! Of course now I am hoping that AX lives up to your expectations! AX is a multi-decade passion for me and in some ways, I see this Unity editor extension as one of many possible manifestations of this passion. At the same time, I am an uber-fan of Unity. Unity is truly amazing and am having a grand time developing in it!
     
  17. elbows

    elbows

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    It's not crazy to think that there is something special here. Personally whatever the other possibilities I prefer to see asset store devs stay focussed on the core product, at least at the early stages. Even if there is merit in the standalone idea and interest from the developer in actually doing it, best to let it mature inside Unity first.

    Also dont underestimate how much difference there can be between developing a Unity asset and a standalone app. Even if tech/programming issues are overcome without too much heartache, user expectations may differ quite widely on a range of fronts that would eat a lot of time.

    Obviously I am not the developer of archimatix, and I always think its a nice sentiment when forum and asset users want to come up with ways the developer(s) can do well, keep the product sustainable. But its somewhat inevitable that such sentiments arent always able to fully take account of what the developer actually wants to do. Just one example - Im quite sure some asset store devs would love to be hired by Unity, but some wont be looking for that at all although they might still be flattered by such job offerings.

    As someone who has been lucky enough to beta test archimatix for a long time, and tried to read this thread as it went along, I dont think Rory the developer is going to be short of archimatix missions & motivations once everyone gets their hands on it. Its the sort of product that captures peoples imagination when they use it, but this probably has the side effect of generating feature requests at quite a rate. There have not been enough successful alternative ways to generate 3d objects with computers to date, and I truly believe that archimatix allows us to set foot in very interesting territory on this front. It's exciting and powerful and so many new dimensions got added to it during the beta, that I have already had the privilege of seeing how much it can evolve over time. Even the addition of 'relatively trivial' nodes can make a very big difference to a system like this. But like any tool and system there are things it doesnt do (yet) and some of these have come up and been discussed in the thread already. People will be clamouring for various things, which is a good problem to have but it does mean I'm more likely than usual to poo-poo ideas that might distract the developer from focussing on 'the most important things'.
     
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  18. RuinsOfFeyrin

    RuinsOfFeyrin

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    Hey elbows,

    I totally get where you are coming from, and I certainly do not want to detract roryo's attention from the core of Archamatix. I was more wondering if he had given thought to such an idea, and if not, present the possibilities to him as something to keep in mind during development and express that i think he has something more worthwhile then just a unity asset on his hands. Those differences between an asset and a stand-alone application are the exact reason I wanted to ask such a question now, as it could impact design choices and while he doesnt have to act on the idea of having a stand-alone application right away, keeping such an idea in mind when designing things may save headaches later. That was all.

    I must also say I am now jealous you have gotten to play with archimatix, lol.
     
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  19. Teila

    Teila

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    Plus, let him get an idea of what the support may be like! It is bad enough to deal with issues with Unity and Unity users. It can take a significant amount of time to support a product here. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to support people using AX who might be using engines and tools that Rory is not familiar with yet.

    Money is great, but the support has to be covered by the money spent. Give him time to see what it is like supporting all of us first. :) Beta testers are special but when you are supporting people who are new to Unity or even new to AX, it is going to be very time consuming and sometimes frustrating...although often rewarding I am sure. :)

    This is a great tool and not difficult to use but it can be a challenge to get what you see in your head actually out there using the tool. I can't wait to see what new things users come up with in the next few weeks.
     
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  20. roryo

    roryo

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    Wow - very heartfelt and very well-put! Thanks @elbows!
     
  21. roryo

    roryo

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    I really appreciate your enthusiasm, @RuinsOfFeyrin and your timely call for consideration of possibilities, especially since small decisions made today that can reverberate in big ways in the future.

    BTW, Don't be too jealous of poor, poor @elbows. He was unfortunate enough to have jumped in on this thread on page 2 and was promptly conscripted as beta tester numero uno, subjected to the most vile, show-stopping, heart-wrenching bugs that the burgeoning system, what was essentially "AX alpha," could muster! Honestly, I am surprised his computer is still operational and that he is still among us to tell the tale!
     
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  22. roryo

    roryo

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    At this pointing our programming, it may be a good time to show a clip! Here is the trailer for AX. It was submitted as the first video for the AX asset store page:
     
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  23. elbows

    elbows

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    Although I used your standalone stuff to make some of my points, I wasnt meaning to aim my points in your direction exclusively. Some of it is stuff I kept nearly wanting to say at other points in the thread - I guess it came out now in response to the way the thread is progressing as we wait for it to appear in the store, and my own guesses about what various users might end up considering the next 'most important thing' to do once they've tried the initial version. I dont want to share my guesses now because I dont want to potentially influence the results ;)

    Anyway I too think there is tons of potential in archimatix community resources etc, including sharing shapes and objects. As someone who is looking to improve my 'programmer art' using archimatix I hope that there will also evolve a class of shared shapes and objects that help me to learn about concepts such as scale, proportion of different aspects of structures, etc. eg well established ratios that have served designers, artists, modellers and architects well.
     
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  24. elbows

    elbows

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    Thankfully robot Kyles attempt to recreate the ED-209 malfunction scene from Robocop was a poor imitation of the real thing, and I lived to noodle with nodes another day ;)
     
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  25. roryo

    roryo

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    Oh, don't worry. There is nothing to fear from Robot Kyle. He's nice... except when he's not!

    Archimatix 2016-10-22_06-03-42_PM.jpg

    GunSnapping.gif
     
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  26. DasBiot

    DasBiot

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    My apologies if this has been asked previously: is it possible to use fonts in an AX model?

    My thinking is that it would be very nice to etch words directly into some structures (e.g., "MMXVII" into the base of a stone building) or lettering on smaller objects (e.g., sign posts, plaques).

    BTW, nice trailer! Can't wait to start working with AX.

    Cheers!
     
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  27. roryo

    roryo

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    Hi, @DasBiot! We can't use fonts yet, but I did look into it a bit. That is on the list fro a future feature. Also on the list is vector art or SVG shapes coming in from another app, such as Illustrator. Now that Text Mesh Pro will be native to unity, I wonder if the Unity API will allow AX to tap into it.

    A work around in version 1.0 is to draw the letters with the FreeCurve node. FreeCurve is pretty flexible (pun intended!). Here is an example of FreeCurve (based on a question that @antoripa posed) at work with symmetry pairing, thick, offset and rounding:

    Archimatix 2017-03-04_03-42-49_PM.jpg

    Archimatix 2017-03-04_03-44-46_PM.jpg

    Archimatix 2017-03-04_03-54-03_PM.jpg

    Archimatix 2017-03-04_04-29-54_PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  28. DasBiot

    DasBiot

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    Thank you for the quick reply!

    It's nice to know that an SVG importing feature is on the list for a future AX release, I hope to use it someday.

    In the meantime the Text Mesh Pro option will compensate a bit, if only for extruded text.

    Re. Unity API: (wild guess time!) perhaps if a TTF or OTF file can be imported as a resource into the project, you might be able to use it directly (direct binary read perhaps?).

    BTW, it's amazing the design you've made with just 2 free curves and a circle! :)

    Cheers!
     
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  29. Teila

    Teila

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    Love that free curve design!!
     
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  30. Xepherys

    Xepherys

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    @roryo - that free curve bit is... absolutely incredible!

    Also, Text Mesh Pro is going to be native in Unity? Like, built in? Is there an announcement about this somewhere?
     
  31. RuinsOfFeyrin

    RuinsOfFeyrin

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    @Xepherys Yes, there was a post on unitys twitter, and there is a post in the General Forums about it. You can currently download Text Mesh Pro for free now, and it should be integrated in to the next release of unity.
     
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  32. Xepherys

    Xepherys

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    I have no clue how I missed this news. Thanks! That's some awesome stuff.
     
  33. Sheriziya

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    Wow, that's something I completely missed! Thanks for pointing it out

    I love the new design, @roryo !
     
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  34. BlackRainbowFT

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  35. Voronoi

    Voronoi

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    I also want to chime in and say that I value an asset that does one thing really well and has a long track record of support and updates. While I might like an organic modeling or character tool, perhaps that should be a separate asset.

    I'm saying this having used Unity for a long time and having purchased/watched/used a lot of 3rd party assets. There was a great deformation asset that I liked, but then it got so complex with new features and added examples, I found it became burdensome to include in projects.

    Archimatix is a really good architectural modeling asset that makes building models in realtime easy and enjoyable. Teach people how to think the 'Archimatix' way to build things, which I understand to be coming from an architects workflow, using plans, repetitions and the like. The doors and windows example is perfect.

    Here is a user scenario I am working with right now – architecture students have designed models in Rhino, and once I bring these into the Vive VR they immediately want to re-design much of what they did in Rhino. Their designs look great from above, but at human scale walking around it's completely different.

    Getting models exported properly out of Rhino or any 3D program is a major hassle. Most 3D programs are lenient and allow construction of ridiculous geometry that will never work as a model in a game engine. Architects are still going to need to use CAD programs to generate blueprints, but an import/export system that allows for design ideas to be tested and iterated on in VR would be extremely useful.

    I have never seen a building tool like this that is making clean, game-ready models in real time, with controls over texture, geometry and iteration. At first it feels limiting to not have 3D boolean operations, but if restricting users to 2D plans means a more stable, robust tool I am fine with that. I like that it enforces an architectural way of thinking about objects.
     
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  36. antoripa

    antoripa

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    Yep ... @roryo .if you were refering to our conversation .. . you wrote wrong nick name . @antoripa is mine ehehe
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  37. Cannes_xk

    Cannes_xk

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    Let pass the offer of probuillder for your app. I look from time to time if it is already approved in an assetstore :) I'm impatient !!!
     
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  38. roryo

    roryo

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    You and me both, @Cannes_xk!
     
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  39. mdotstrange

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    Speaking of Probuilder....

    I've been using Probuilder to design my levels and one of the big hidden costs in the workflow is manually adding primitive colliders to the geometry- it adds mesh colliders by default but they are not performant or as reliable as prim colliders when it comes to collisions- The fact that archimatix is based on nodes and that we can add prim colliders per node/shape is wonderful :D

    As far as the flexibility and creativity Archimatix seems to provide over Probuilder there's really no comparison- its like Probuilder is building with boxes and Archimatix is building with magic- can't wait to get my hands on it :)
     
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  40. roryo

    roryo

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    .,`
    Thanks, @mdotstrange - I agree that it would be hard to make the complex curvilinear architectural forms that AX is so facile at, but then again, ProBuilder is essential for modifying meshes idiosyncratically when you want to break from the logic that generated the form parametrically. In other words, although each can build amazing things individually, a parametric modeler and brush-based polygonal modeler are super complementary. ;)
     
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  41. roryo

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    Thanks, @Voronoi–especially for that last paragraph! You guys are continuing to help me through the wait!
     
  42. Whippets

    Whippets

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    Whilst we're waiting... Where do you stand on selling models made with Archimatix or indeed selling models that are "Archimatix compatible" and have their meta data in a file or scriptable object which can be used by anyone with Archimatix?
     
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  43. roryo

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    The models you make with AX are all yours to use/share/sell, as is usually the case with the output of any authoring tool. Parametric library items (essentially saved node graphs) are also sharable/sellable with Archimatix required. With the latter, you would need to note that the buyer must have purchased AX and also that you are responsible for the front line of support. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  44. Whippets

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    That's perfect. I can think of a few other tool developers who could benefit from your style of EULA. Now we need the save option XD
     
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  45. RuinsOfFeyrin

    RuinsOfFeyrin

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    Hey,

    Believe me when i say as soon as the software is available I will IMMEDIATELY work on moving over the code for my .OBJ exporter from my project to be compatible with AX. Honestly I'm pretty much imagining ill simply be able to drop the code in the project and call the need functions and it should just work. Once im sure it works ill immediately send over a copy to roryo for inclusion in AX if he wants.

    I also have a XML Serializer i have been working on that can serialize ANYTHING you pass to it... it uses reflection and can save ANY field, or property of ANY type, and de-serialize it back. You should be able to pass the root AX object to it and have it serialize the entire hierarchy to disk, and be able to reload them. This is obviously beneficial over using Something like ScriptableObject for saving and loading as 1) its not confined to unity, 2) its not confined to use in the unity editor.

    The last issue I'm working on with the serializer is circular references, and multiple references in different spots to the same object. Its not even really an issue, i know how to handle it, just haven't taken the time to finish the code. Again I'm more then willing to share this (i was planning on releasing it for public use anyways).
     
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  46. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    After seeing this thread, I've discovered this asset. Let me first say it looks absolutely incredible.

    I noticed that a lot of your designs in the video on this page seemed Greek or Roman (I have only the barest of experience with architecture, so apologies if that isn't it at all). Would you say this tool can be used for modern-day building designs?

    Additionally, how does it work with buildings with more "enclosed" interiors? I noticed that most in the video were open to the environment. In my same situation as before, where I'm creating a modern building with doors (and windows I imagine), would the inside be a fully-detailed separate environment?
     
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  47. wetcircuit

    wetcircuit

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    1,271
    Check the whole thread for many examples, all kinds, but this post:#438 (and the ones immediately before and after)
     
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  48. Whippets

    Whippets

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
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    I believe door and window nodes are coming soon for that sort of thing (hopefully with doorframe, windowframe, door, and window nodes too XD)

    Pretty sure Rory has enough ideas for new nodes to last through a few new versions. If he hasn't this thread will be able to swamp him with more lol
     
  49. antoripa

    antoripa

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Posts:
    1,163
    I think I will get on my VR Controller to meet Kyle ..I would listen his stories and see AX world with his eyes :)
     
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  50. Whippets

    Whippets

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
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    How many more days can we survive?
     
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