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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. roryo

    roryo

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    Hi @bakanekofr - thanks so much for posting this! Love to see what people are doing with AX! This looks awesome. When do we get to play it?!
     
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  2. bakanekofr

    bakanekofr

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    Thanks! This game is called Light Fairytale. Coming early next year!
     
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  3. roryo

    roryo

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    Archimatix 2017-03-31_10-32-40_PM.jpg

    Another idea for an Archimatix poster.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
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  4. JacobFalling

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    @roryo

    This is such a joy to work with, though it is definitely taking some work to build my first full model, which I of course overreached with because it's just so fun to overreach with these tools -- multi-story tower, 90-degree stairs with landings halfway, arrow loops and variable outcroppings depending on the story/height. Good clean fun, but some serious spaghetti between these nodes! :D

    I'm excited about the door automation -- will it allow for a partial-wall height, or will we still have to the secondary wall topper for doors which do not reach the ceiling? It'll be a nice add regardless.

    The terrain deformer will likely justify an entire release in itself... look forward to trying it!

    Jon
     
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  5. roryo

    roryo

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    Hi @JacobFalling - welcome aboard! I am glad you are finding Archimatix (AX) a joy to work with. It is one of the problems of making headway in developing AX - I spend too much time having fun building things!

    Your plans do sound grand! When beginning with AX, it can be a good strategy to start by playing with the nodes and seeing what emerges, rather than trying to make something specific. You will learn a lot and perhaps invent an entirely new aesthetic–one that you had not dreamed up yet. In this process, you will become well-versed in the Archimatix Way more quickly.

    An interesting example is the "Red Ship" depicted in the poster above (which is included in the Archimatix package). When I created that example, I was not working from any kind of sketch or concept art. I just started noodling nodes together. As one node led to another, I discovered the space of the ship, like an explorer wandering into a new world. LOL–in fact this was another case in which I indulged in too much time exploring the ship with a FPC Controller and, of course I wasn't lonely, because I filled the ship with Robot Kyle NPC's to wander around with me by feeding a PrefabInstancer into a GridRepeater with Jitter. The Red Ship ended up being polygonally complex and spatially rich, but being composed of only several nodes in its graph. If you find yourself with amazing architecture and only a few nodes, then you know you have mastered the Archimatix Way. LOL - this is starting to sound like another one of my odes to nodes!

    The door cutter shown on the preceding page in this thread will still require a topper to span above. This is an opportunity to add more interesting detail to your architecture, though you can also make the upper layer blend in as though it were a "punched hole" in the wall surface. That being said, there are plans for another hole-cutter node that will punch holes in wall planes by treating each wall plane as a 2D surface turned up 90 degrees, though you need only think in plan. Also, both of these cutters will allow the resizing of parametric door and window frames. ;) Another strategy for making a building with windows is to make a window module and feed it into a PlanRepeater. That's how these buildings were done:
    Archimatix 2015-06-27_09-59-51_PM.jpg

    Here is another example- in this case the arch module is and the oculus models are repeated in a RadialRepeater and Cell Meshes.
    Archimatix 2015-06-30_01-29-16_PM.jpg

    In reality, builders rarely build a wall and then punch a hole through it. They build elements up and leave voids. With parametric modeling you have a lot of control over how these voids are formed.
    Archimatix 2016-03-07_07-41-19_PM.jpg

    For example, in this modern tower, we can save polygons by having the vertical mullions by boxes that run the entire height of the building. We can control the size of the windows by increasing the width in the box node and it propagates throughout the building.

    PastedGraphic-33.jpg

    But sometimes it fun to make a GridRepeater2D of Rectangles and subtract them from a big wall plane. Here the grid-of-grids pattern is a GridRepeater2D fed into another GridRepeater2D:

    Archimatix 2016-04-19_03-48-19_PM.jpg

    In any case, that's the end of my holey sermon for now. But I should make a video tutorial highlighting the different ways of making wall openings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
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  6. roryo

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    In addition to a tutorial or article on strategies for the design of wall openings, I'd also like to write an article on the spatial richness that can come about by the combination of planar elements. Just as builders rarely build a wall and then punch an opening in it, they also rarely carve volumes of space out a la subtractive voxels (with the exception of rock-cut architecture in places like Petra in Jordan, Ajanta in India, etc.). Instead, rich spatial configurations are often composed of 2D shapes that are situated on different axes.

    Archimatix 2016-05-06_09-17-07_PM.jpg

    In this building there is only the keyhole-like section (the product of a merger of 4 Rectangles and a Circle) fed into a LinearRepeater and a floor slab Extrude in a FloorRepeater. Then one more box for the glass enclosure and an extrude for the main lower deck. So very few nodes producing an interesting 3D space (that is once again populated with Robot Kyle's NPC clones - hey, can't argue with cheap labor!).

    Archimatix 2016-05-05_06-11-25_PM.jpg

    Archimatix 2016-05-05_05-59-10_PM.jpg

    Archimatix 2016-05-05_06-58-36_PM.jpg

    For a 3D modeler, working with Blender, Maya or Cinema4D, etc. it is common to think in terms of 3D booleans, especially for those working on characters, vehicles, and weapons. For example, coming from the perspective of using 3D booleans, here we might think a cylindrical boolean would be needed to cut through this row of walls. The problem with 3D booleans is that they are slow, tend to generate lots of triangles and can be error prone with meshes that are complex or concave.

    Since architects tend to think in terms of the 3D arrangement of thickened 2D forms, which are themselves the product of intricate shape merging (2D boolean) operations, we can use 2D booleans, which are fast and seem to have no difficulty managing lots of vertices. Thus we can drag shapes around interactively and watch all of the meshwork that is generated from these shapes morph in realtime.

    Artful combination of planar forms can provide and incredible level of 3D spatial richness that feels like real world architecture (though much of what we can create with Archimatix would be too expensive to actually build!) and made of meshes that are polygonally efficient.
     
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  7. Flurgle

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    This looks amazing. Is there a downloadable tech demo to see some of these models in action?
     
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  8. roryo

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    Thanks, @Flurgle! No tech demo just yet, but one is in the works. I am also developing Parametric Props the will be modestly priced, and functional, but without the node graph editor. For example, some of the models that are included in the Archimatix package, such as the parametric Bookcase and the Villa Romano, will be sold separately.

    Bookcase.gif

    VillaRomano.gif
     
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  9. Flurgle

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    @roryo Looks unbelievable. How does the material system work? Can i apply whatever material I want to various parts? Can you generate LODs?

    Also is export to obj feature in?
     
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  10. Matthew-Schell

    Matthew-Schell

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    hey there,

    Just spending some time this weekend trying out Archimatix and I must say it's really impressive and above all FUN to work with. However I've hit a few snags. I'm running on Unity 5.50f3 and have two issues I've noticed. I see that it was uploaded with 5.3. Is that the latest version currently supported?

    1) The demo scenes that the manual walks you through seem to be completely broken, tons of error in console and the editor in the inspector doesn't work. I worked around this by just reading the documentation and the examples from your Library DO work so that was OK, I got up and running.

    2) More significantly, the 'stamp' object seems to be producing invalid meshes somehow so there is no way to turn Archimatix meshes into prefabs, for example. My workflow was: Create desired shape, stamp, drag to folder to create prefab. That results in a prefab being created in which the mesh filter shows 'None' in the project view even though the mesh is present and visible in the scene. I was able to work around this using a 3rd party FBX exporter from the asset store but it's obviously not ideal.

    Just wanted to let you know about these glitches because I am very excited to experiment further with your product!
     
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  11. elbows

    elbows

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    I'm very sure that isnt the latest version supported, and was just done to maximise store compatibility.

    Off the top of my head I think there are 2 different Archimatix functions for mesh creation and the stamp one only saves the mesh data with the scene. There is a different button to press that creates prefabs & saves mesh to the project asset database.

    Anyway I'm just a user who wanted to respond very quickly to a couple of your points, sorry that I didnt have time to double-check what I was saying before posting but hopefully its of some use.
     
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  12. roryo

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    Hi @Matthew-Schell - welcome aboard!

    As @elbows mentioned, there is a specific button to make a Prefab. You can find it on the upper right corner of the Node Graph Editor window..

    Archimatix 2017-04-02_11-05-24_AM.jpg

    Clicking that button creates a standard Unity Prefab with all the sharedMeshaes saved to the Project's AssetDatabase. If a mesh output is repeated with a Repeater, Archimatix does a pretty good job optimizing what gets saved, including the sharedMesh once and then using Instances for all its repeated twins in the Prefab.

    The Stamp function, on the other hand, creates a "frozen" GameObject hierarchy in the scene that no longer needs Archimatix. However, it does not save the meshes to the Unity's AssetDatabase on the assumption that you may not want to clutter the AssetDatabase with every variation of a model that you make. For example, let's say you are making a Viking village and you have made a parametric hut. You might Stamp out 30 versions of the hut, each with a different size, number of floors, roof angle, etc. You may not want a Prefab of each of these variants.
    Archimatix 2017-02-09_09-17-07_AM.jpg
    Per the errors messages you encountered, I would love to take a look at one of them. When you get a chance, could you PM one to me?

    BTW, 5.3.4 is the earliest version of Unity that Archimatix supports. Archimatix started development in 3+, but as I recall there were some API changes that made AX easier in 5.3.4+ If anyone needs AX for an earlier version, let me know!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  13. longroadhwy

    longroadhwy

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    @roryo

    Do you have any books that you recommend for reading? I know you had posted one back earlier in this thread but I was wondering if you had some others.
     
  14. roryo

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    Thanks, @Flurgle!

    There is a MaterialTool node that lets you select a Material from your project as well as a PhysicMaterial. In the controls for the MaterialTool node, you can adjust the the position and scale of the texture. Most of the examples on this thread use seamless tiled textures, but you can also use the MaterialTool to line up atlas regions with your mesh. On a mesh node you can control the break angle to make edges look hard or soft and you can control the break angles independently in U and V.

    Archimatix 2017-02-16_08-52-53_AM.jpg

    Keep in mind that, since AX is a non-destructive editor, you can line up the mesh with an atlas that already exists. Lets say you paint a barrel side and lid in Photoshop. You can create a barrel form in AX, feed that Material into the barrel (using the MaterialTool) and then adjust the barrel mesh until it fits your atlas.

    Materials inherit, so if you add a material to a "downstream" node in the graph, all the nodes "upstream" will inherit that Material, unless overridden by their own MaterialTool input. If you add a MaterialTool to a downstream node, you can override just its scale and position, if you are keeping the same Material otherwise.

    The Meshers have a multiple MAterial Inputs, so you can set the sides of an Extrude to one Material, and the TopCap to a different Material with its own scanning and translation.

    For LOD, you can control the number of triangles with the segmentation controls of your source shape. There is also a global Detail Level slider that reduces all the Shape segmentations for you. You can then Make a Prefab or Stamp of these Detail Levels and combine them into an LOD object. In the future, we will have an LOD option in the Stamp and Prefab functions to let you create this hierarchy automatically.
    Archimatix 2017-02-16_08-57-00_AM.jpg



    Per .OBJ output, we don't currently have an obj exporter built into AX, but @wetcircuit, tried this free exporter from the Asset Store with good results.

    Thanks for the great questions, @Flurgle!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
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  15. roryo

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    The book mentioned earlier is Architecture: Form, Space Order by Francis Ching. It is a wonderful illustrated catalog of the different elements of space making–very concise and thorough.

    Then there is always the book Guide to Creating 3D Worlds that I co-authored back in the 1900's. The technology is, ahem, dated, but the first few chapters are a kind of architectural theory of virtual space with discussion of the ancient and medieval arts of memory, where space was used by ancient orators as a mnemonic device to store and access message points for long speeches.
     
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  16. Matthew-Schell

    Matthew-Schell

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    Got it! Thanks for the quick response! I'll send a screen grab of the errors I'm seeing in the demo scenes. I *believe* they should be straightforward to reproduce, just open the demos in 5.5. As I assume you know, you can have a package per version on the Asset Store, so if it's something straightforward you can fix in 5.5 and upload. It won't break for example the 5.3 version if you want to continue to support that as your 'most stable release' or recommended compatible release.
     
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  17. roryo

    roryo

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    Thanks for PMing the error! Unity 5.50f3 is my main development version, but I can't seem to reproduce the error you're seeing. In any case, from the image you provided I see that there is an uncaught exception that I will take care of pronto!
     
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  18. Matthew-Schell

    Matthew-Schell

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    No problem! Happy to help.
     
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  19. elbows

    elbows

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    I think you meant to say earliest there.
     
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  20. roryo

    roryo

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    Nice catch, @elbows–thanks! (edited the post above). ;)
     
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  21. mdotstrange

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    I have been using Archimatix in an empty/test project without any issues in 5.4.3f1- I just imported it into my main project using the same Unity version and I'm getting this error

    Assets/Archimatix/Scripts/Editor/RelationBezierCurve.cs(13,64): error CS0433: The imported type `Poly2Tri.PolygonPoint' is defined multiple times



    I tried commenting out that line but the same error pops up in another Archimatix script etc- any idea on how to remedy it? Thank you.
     
  22. roryo

    roryo

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    Hi @mdotstrange - looks like there is another asset in your project that is using the poly2tri library. You can try deleting the folder Archimatix/Scripts/Incorporated3rdPartyLibraries/poly2tri-cs-master or the poly2tri folder from the other asset.
     
  23. roryo

    roryo

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    LighthouseBase (included with the Archimatix package) is a great example of a simple node graph that produces a complex model:

    Archimatix 2017-04-03_06-10-39_PM.jpg

    The two main source shapes are a Circle and IPlan, each which can be manipulated separately.

    LighthouseBaseII.gif
     
  24. Flurgle

    Flurgle

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    Just a few minutes with this asset I can say that it is easily one of the greatest things I've used in a long time. This is going to be up there with Next-Gen Soft Shadows shadows asset and a few others that I can't live without.

    @roryo Genius work!
     
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  25. roryo

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    Thanks, @Flurgle and welcome aboard! It makes my day/year/epoch to hear feedback like this!
     
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  26. JacobFalling

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    Thank you for the amazing response! My process has been to dive in over my head, hit a wall, then start over again. I don't mind working this way at all, and your tutorials are already fairly thorough considering you just officially released!

    And... once I figured out how to double click on groups in the editor to pop open your sample models, it's a lot easier to see how the more complicated objects get built (repeaters and node relationships especially).

    But yeah, yeah... it's a great experience just to experiment with the tools, and I have environments that very specifically require shapes not in a traditional cultural architectural aesthetic, for which of course Archimatix has set the new paradigm.
     
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  27. mdotstrange

    mdotstrange

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    Thanks- For reference the asset "Fracturing and Destruction" was causing the p2Y conflict- I wasn't using it so I deleted it then I got this error


    I was able to fix this- for reference it was the Playmaker add-on "Ecosystem" that was causing the conflict- deleting it got rid of the errors.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
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  28. roryo

    roryo

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    Thanks, @mdotstrange. Yes, you did the right thing!
     
  29. roryo

    roryo

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    These city blocks are generated by a Plan Shape.
    city I.gif

    The Plan Shape is a merger of thickened FreeCurves as a void and a RoundedRectange as a Solid.

    Archimatix 2017-04-04_08-57-06_AM.jpg

    This composite Plan is fed into a Grouper that uses it a few times: offset as a sidewalk extrude, as a floor slab that is fed into a FloorRepeater, as a Pan for a PlanRepeater for the vertical elements in the facades, and as a BoundingShape for a GridRepeater of columns (yellow Cylinders).

    Archimatix 2017-04-04_08-58-14_AM.jpg

    When we get Replicant nodes (soon!), each building in will be different styles and heights. ;)

    Archimatix 2017-04-04_08-54-55_AM.jpg

    Archimatix 2017-04-04_08-55-32_AM.jpg
     
  30. Arganth

    Arganth

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    archimatix on sale ^^
     
  31. roryo

    roryo

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    Yes - Archimatix is the Asset Store's Daily Deal today!
     
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  32. wetcircuit

    wetcircuit

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    :cool: That is surprisingly soon after release, but glad some people who've been on the fence about the price can jump in at a discount! You will not regret it!
     
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  33. wetcircuit

    wetcircuit

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    Thickened FreeCurves…! (*smacks forehead) I have been wasting my time with rounded boxes, when this magic has been there all along!
     
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  34. adamz

    adamz

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    Can you make similar props with Archimatix?
     
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  35. Hormic

    Hormic

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    OMG, this looks awesome!!!
    i wonder why i haven't noticed before.
    Have to tighten my budget and get this asset instantly. :)
     
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  36. roryo

    roryo

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    Hi @adamz - yes. You can build parametric props from scratch in the Archimatix node graph editor. You can also take an existing prop from the library and modify its graph until it is something completely different. For example that Bookcase (which is currently included in the Archimatix package) could be edited to become a building with floors instead of shelves, etc. So the library items that come with Archimatix can be modified with their parametric handles or serve as examples for you to learn how to make your own parametric props!
     
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  37. roryo

    roryo

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    Curve thickening is one of the key ingredients in Archimatix's secret sauce!
     
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  38. pixelsteam

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    Any news on the run-time integration @roryo ?
     
  39. DGordon

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    Sorry if this was posted somewhere above. How do you go about texturing these models? Any way for them to be brought into quixel?
     
  40. roryo

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    Hi @pixelsteam - Runtime AX will come in waves as free updates. The first wave due in next month will allow you to promote any parameter in the graph to be listed in the AXModel so your game scripts and custom runtime GUI can access those parameters easily. For example, if your player spends more on an IAP, his Viking hut could have more square meters of area, etc. Later AX will have runtime handles for these promoted parameters.
     
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  41. roryo

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    Hi @DGordon - great question. I talked a bit about Materials here. I do need to do a tutorial focusing specifically how you can translate and scale a texture to fit your AX model, or how you can morph your model to fit your tiles or atlas.

    Since the output of AX is standard Unity meshes, you should be able to bring these into Quixel. You in the above post I also talk about the control you have over LOD and UV break angles.
     
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  42. DGordon

    DGordon

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    Great. The use-case I have in mind is 100% pre-rendered stills and videos ... so I'm not so interested in repeating seamless textures as much as the ability to easily create high detailed textures for an area. Since I don't need anything rendered in real-time, I don't really care about optimizations (to an extent).

    I suspect I would need the ability to easily colormap, assign materials, and generate a .obj to make a round trip between Quixel (or Substance Painter / Designer) productive. Essentially, generate the model with all the UVs + color map + materials -> paint it in Quixel. Considering Octane will be coming around the corner, and timeline is almost released, I'm probably not the only one who would like something that could be used for high-quality pre-renders.

    Any chance something like that could be done someday? The product looks great and is definitely up my alley as a programmer.

    Also: can this generate models at a very smooth triangle count? Again, prerenders ... so I don't really care about the LODs so much as the highest quality I can get with my 1080 + dual 980s :p.


    [Edit: err ... Quixel takes .obj, not .fbx. I remembered wrong. This should make it much easier to auto-generate though!!]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  43. DGordon

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    Sorry for all the questions ... I'm just very intrigued by your product but have some workflow requirements that need to be met.

    Assuming that a workflow could be found to get something into Quixel, how well does this handle something like interior rooms and/or furniture? My above questions were for my personal stuff, but we actually have the same requirements in our company.

    Here is an example of a still shot (obviously not final) for one of our locations.



    Notice the panelling on the walls and the wood part above the fireplace, as well as the furniture ... can something like AX handle this easily, or are smaller details better handled in something like 3ds Max?

    Our 3d artist has to recreate rooms and furniture based off of historical photos, pass a historian team evaluation, etc etc ... so fine control is needed.

    I'm still dreaming of the day EVERYTHING we do can be handled inside of Unity, so if this could be created painlessly using AX (and tweakable as requested by outside team members) and then textured in Quixel, there's a chance I could have that happen in office :).
     
  44. punk

    punk

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    @roryo I've absolutely loved working with AX over the last few weeks, here's a pic of the fortress I've been working on. The speed I've been able to create this shell has been awesome, just gotta fill it with stuff now :)

    BridesOfVampira---Fortress.png
     
  45. roryo

    roryo

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    Such great questions! I am now very interested in looking at roundtrip workflow via Quixel!

    The level of detail in AX has a lot to do with the amount of segmentation you set in the source Shapes or splines. For example, in this image, you can see facets on the central circle. I could just slide the "segs" parameter in the Circle node until it had 100 segments and then it would be super smooth. You can keep sliding back and forth until you have the look vs. triangle count you are happy with. Archimatix 2017-03-04_03-42-49_PM.jpg
    The same goes for the Bezier FreeCurve nodes.

    Once you use the same shape to subtract out of a Rectangle, you can separately control the segmentation of the extrude bevels until they are very smooth. Archimatix 2017-03-04_04-29-54_PM.jpg


    For the historical furniture, AX has all the basic historical molding profiles: CymaRecta, CymaReversa, Cove, Ovolo, etc. (highlighted in green below).

    Archimatix 2017-04-04_02-30-56_PM.jpg

    The real power of parametric modeling comes in when you have several pieces of a given style that all need to be different.

    Bookcase.gif

    As you morph this bookcase, you can keep "Stamping" out variations as frozen models.

    While AX is not as suited to modeling 3D sculptural objects like a character or statue, I don't see anything in the image you provided that would give Archimatix a problem. :)
     
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  46. roryo

    roryo

    Joined:
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    When you say colormap, do you mean vertex colors?
     
  47. roryo

    roryo

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    Wow!
     
    pixelsteam and punk like this.
  48. DGordon

    DGordon

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Posts:
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    Very cool. Any chance an automatic export to .obj + colormaps can be included?

    It shouldn't be very hard to export something to .obj ... there have been scripts floating around for ages that do this. If we had the ability to generate a .obj using this, then bring it into quixel which could use both the color map and a per material basis to texture stuff ... I don't see why this wouldn't be a great workflow. In theory you could have quixel save out the textures to the same unity directory, apply the textures, and then see the textures change automatically anytime you re-save from quixel.
     
  49. DGordon

    DGordon

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  50. roryo

    roryo

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    Ah - I see. Does Quixel have an unwrapping feature so that after you bring in your mesh you can layout the polys into the atlas automatically? Or does it need the color mapping already being there? (As you can see I need to get my Quixel act together!)
     
    Flurgle likes this.
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