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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. KWaldt

    KWaldt

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    Hello there!

    This asset looks beautiful, can't wait to test it out~
    It looks powerful and simple to use.

    The one concern I have with this is the performance. How does it hold up to traditionally created meshes? I love how smooth the geometry looks, but is there a way to adjust the polycount in cases of lag? Or could I export the created mesh and optimise it in an external package, given that I would lose the flexibility of adjusting it in realtime?

    Thank you for the hard work!
    - KW
     
  2. The-Spaniard

    The-Spaniard

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    DAAAANNNG! This is totally awesome - I've been working on something similar for a while, but it's nowhere near as complete as this is (and more based on bezier curves and surfaces). I'm definitely going to check this out when it's released (or if you need beta testers?... ;)). How extensible is your system? In terms of making new palettes,etc? Do you have rule-based parameters in place? (eg. place pillars based on gradient etc...)
     
  3. imaginaryhuman

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    Looking good. Is it possible to sweep a profile shape through to make a tunnel/tube and have that tube bend at various angles up/down/left/right etc?
     
  4. Crystalline

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  5. pcg

    pcg

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    This look amazing!
    Oh my poor wallet.
     
  6. Zeblote

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    Aw, I thought the whole thing would be available at runtime so you can create ingame level editors / whatever. :)
     
  7. roryo

    roryo

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    Great question @KWaldt! Since, for now, most meshes are generated from parametric curves, altering the curve segmentation reduces the number of polys (or triangles, that is). As you adjust the number of segments in any 2D parametric shape, you can see displays in each palette of the number of vertices and triangles that palette represents.

    For example, in the Shield Character example above, if we alter the number of segments in the outer circle, we can see a drop in the triangle count. In the first image below, the vert count in the circle is14. In the other node palettes down the line, we can see the number of triangles.

    Archimatix 2015-08-27_06-21-06_PM.jpg

    By simply reducing the vertex count of the circles to 6, we reduce the triangles in the next palette to 140.

    Archimatix 2015-08-27_06-21-18_PM.jpg

    That segment adjustment can be done in the palette slider or the SceneView Handle in realtime (as you will see in the forthcoming tutorial), with all the changes rippling through the model in realtime. This way you can tune a nice balance between triangle counts and aesthetics.

    Here are three versions of the Shield Character that differ only in the segments of the outer circle, the eye circle and the arch semi-circle. Also, the lefthand example has the extrude bevel set to 0.

    Archimatix 2015-08-27_06-10-19_PM.jpg

    These could also serve as LOD variations.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
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  8. roryo

    roryo

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    @
    @The Spaniard, on the previous thread page, I posted an example of how one can extend Archimatix and add new palettes by creating a new "Deformer" palette. My hope is that developers will extend the system and perhaps even sell their plugins-for-the-Archimatix-plugin on the Asset Store (mentioning that Archimatix is a perquisite, of course). This way you can create the topologies that are important to you (or your developers) while capitalizing on the Archimatix graph and core data structures for Shapes, Meshes and Repeaters, etc. and 2D and 3D Libraries.

    I was hoping to add Bezier handles to the FreeForm Shape palette for first release, but I think they will wait for the first free update.
     
  9. roryo

    roryo

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    @imaginaryhuman, 3D splines are not implemented in Archimatix at the moment. In the meantime, a series of PlanSweeps can be used. Here is an example of a section turning left and then upwards, made from two PlanSweep objects.

    Archimatix 2015-08-27_07-41-12_PM.jpg

    The reason the initial focus of Archimatix has been on 2D splines is to develop the shape merging capabilities, which are really the secret sauce of the first release. 3D spline extrudes are already available to some extent in track or road builder plugins, but they do not lend themselves to merging to make complex compound shapes. But I must say, I am ever so tempted to get 3D spline sweeps into release 1!

    I appreciate the feedback. It is important to hear what you guys think is desirable to help drive future development. Keep the questions and request coming!
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  10. roryo

    roryo

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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
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  11. roryo

    roryo

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    Now that would be something! *scratching head, musing over the possibilities* On the other hand, I am not sure that a generalized (albeit powerful) node-based graphical editor would be that accessible for a typical player wanting to world-build quickly with her thumbs on an iPad. Perhaps it would be better to create a series of parametric models as the developer and provide a simplified GUI to let the player world-build more quickly in a theme (hence with more limited possibilities) and with a gentle learning curve. If the player is tasked to build a series of Viking villages, she doesn't need all the flexibility of a generalized node-based editor. *Or does she? Continuing to muse, even while trying to achieve razor-sharp focus on releasing version 1.0*
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  12. Zeblote

    Zeblote

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    It depends. You could have a library of ready-to-use models (those that you used in your own levels!) for players who want to quickly assemble a level, but the few that really want to get involved can make their own ones!
     
  13. elbows

    elbows

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    Personally I think you should save it for an update. Assets that see new features added via updates tend to be well appreciated by customers, and its also a great way to maintain buzz/promotion of your asset over time.

    Plus of course the main reason I am saying this is that people like me are very excited to see your product released as soon as possible ;)
     
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  14. pcg

    pcg

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    I agree with elbows, but then I just want to get my hands on it :)
    I think getting this (bug free) in to peoples hands will help you develop a road map for updates.
    Something I'd be keen to see is a few good items generated with the tool as part of the release. Good documentation is a must and a few tutorials would be nice.
     
  15. roryo

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    I am inclined to agree with @elbows and @pcg. It is high time to slay the creeping feature creature and start wrapping up for first release with debugging/polishing, sample models, documentation and tutorials. Which can only mean that I need to get the long awaited Shield Character tutorial video (which is almost done) online! I am looking forward to you comments on the current workflow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
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  16. roryo

    roryo

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    Its red carpet time! Well, for the tutorial video on the Shield Character, at least. (Be sure to view in HD in your video window ;-)



    I am looking forward to any comments you might have about Archimatix workflow and also about the effectiveness of (or lack thereof) the tutorial itself.
     
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  17. elbows

    elbows

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    Excellent. My only comments so far are very minor:

    At the start of the video the text mentions 3D Library but it looks like the circle comes from the 2D library?

    And perhaps change the name of Wallthickness - it upsets my brain to see it as one word, and its a bit too wide for the UI.

    Like I said, could only think of minor criticisms upon my first viewing of that video.
     
  18. pcg

    pcg

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    wow. love it!

    On the workflow,
    Can you snap an extruded mesh on to the surface of a previous extruded mesh or is this done manually?

    I've watched the video over a couple of times and I have to say I do prefer audio commentary as I had to keep pausing and going back so I could read the captions and see what you were doing in the editor but other than that it shows the workflow off really well.

    Any thoughts on a price?
     
  19. IndieAner3d

    IndieAner3d

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    WoW
    This looks really great... *-*

    And the node based windows
    not seen so complicated As I through... ^-^
    Rather the reverse... ^^
    They are quite clear and largely self-explanatory :--)
    Also nice to lock nodes/windows together
    so they can be edit at the same time, both... ^^

    The Tutorial video is okay and easy to follow,
    with an Pdf which explain the function
    it should be okay...!
    to the most user...!

    All in one Awesome ^^
    But one question left...
    It is possible to save the shapes from created Object/Meshes in the Library
    and use this as a new 2d shape...!?!
     
  20. jeffmorris1956

    jeffmorris1956

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    Are there any 3D modeling programs that can do what ARCHIMATIX can do?
     
  21. roryo

    roryo

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    Thanks @elbows! I will fix the 3D Library reference and replied. I'll also rethink the wall thickness parameter name and then replied the tutorial.
     
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  22. roryo

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    @pcg, You can't snap to a polygon. per se, since this is not a topological modeler as say ProBuilder. When you vary parameters, you can never be sure which polls will still be there after the adjustments. On the other hand, we do know the parametric geometries and can relate objects to various points in that. For example, in an extrude object, the top of the extrude is a "location" that will be there regardless of the values of any parameter settings. Here is an example of placing other objects on top of an extrude. (Still no audio commentary, but will try to add that in the future ;-)



    As far as pricing goes, I wanted to angle for something between $135 and $150, but I am thinking of an introductory price of $95 (but don't tell anyone where this rumor started!
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
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  23. roryo

    roryo

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    Thanks @IndieAner3d! I am glad you are finding the node graph something you could see yourself working with. I will have some documentation in PDF included with the asset bundle and manual pages at the Archimatix.com website.

    When you say create 2D Shapes from Meshes, do you me cut a cross-section to derive a 2D shape?
     
  24. roryo

    roryo

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    @jeffmorris1956, there are some modelers out there with parametric node graphs. One is the Grasshopper plugin for Rhino. Another is the Houdini modeler and animation package. VectorWorks is also coming out with one. Cinema4D has a quasi-parametric modeling approach, but without the node graph. While these are powerful parametric modelers, I am pretty excited about the workflow in Archimatix compared with these. Archimatix can't do everything (yet!), but I think it is already able to be very architecturally expressive. And it is nice to have such modeling right in the Unity Editor!
     
  25. lazygunn

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    While not being able to provide the handles for the players to adjust in-game initially I'm assuming you can transform an archimatix object between states programmatically within values in game? If so that would be perfect
     
  26. IndieAner3d

    IndieAner3d

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    Plz take a look at the Thumbnail...!

    Unbenannt.jpg
     
  27. roryo

    roryo

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    @lazygunn, you will be able to control the objects from script. You will be able to expose parameters publicly and then with a reference to the model, set the parameters and then call Model::generate. You will also have the choice to generate with colliders or not. For smaller models, this is not too computationally intensive, but for larger ones, it is. With no colliders, you can generate meshes with thousands of triangles at a good frame rate.

    As far as animating things like sliding or swinging doors, I want to integrate Mecanim. But I have not looked into that yet. I don't think that it will be too difficult for parameters publicly exposed in the model.
     
  28. roryo

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    Thanks for the clarification, @IndieAner3d. YES! You can save any node in the graph (2D or 3D) to the Library. It will save itself and any node "upstream." from it (often positioned to the left of the node of interest), maintaining any relationships between parameters that you have hooked up.

    Here is an example:
     
  29. IndieAner3d

    IndieAner3d

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    Great,
    I´m really impressed *_*
    and
    I see a lot of potential in your Asset... ^___^
    A Modelling extension
    which you want miss in your Project...! ^^

    I "work"/ play a few years with Unity right now...
    And I saw nothing comparable to this...!
    It looks really User- friendly and Clear,
    Smooth and with fast previews...
    All you need... xD
    If you need BETA tester... PMeee...

    One more question:
    How do you handle unnecessary Planes...!?!
    Will it reduce automatic...
    Or
    It can/must be deleted by hand...!?!
    PLZ see the Thumbnail for more info...!

    Unbenannt.jpg
     
  30. roryo

    roryo

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    Thanks, @IndieAner3d! I think I answered your last question above in my reply to @KWaldt, the one with the image of the 3 shield masks.
     
  31. LaneFox

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    Looks amazing. What about Colliders?
     
  32. IndieAner3d

    IndieAner3d

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    Okay, got it ;---)
     
  33. roryo

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    @LaneFox, currently every mesh is given a MeshCollider. I still need to add UI for selecting which kind of collider (if any) gets added at what level. For example, if on a GridRepeater you add a BoxCollider, then the submeshes (those repeated) would be inside the box and would not get colliders of their own.

    Palettes will also have a checkbox for whether they should combine their submits into one mesh.
     
  34. roryo

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    I am currently working on the hierarchy of GameObjects produced when you "Build" an Archimatix model. This moly involves choosing which palettes you would like to mark for combining the meshes they manage into one mesh. It may not sound that exciting, but it is (well, at least to me it is!).
     
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  35. roryo

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    Who can guess what is new in Archimatix based on this pic?

    Archimatix 2015-09-14_10-53-18_PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
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  36. IndieAner3d

    IndieAner3d

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    Hmm... Rigidbodys...xD
     
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  37. roryo

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    @IndieAner3d got it!

    I will post a new video later today showing how you can combine meshes, choose colliders and add rigid bodies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
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  38. HeadClot88

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    Hey @roryo - Got a few questions -

    1. Are UV maps automatically generated for parametric assets?
    2. How many drawcalls / tris on average are Archimatix parametric assets?
    3. I noticed on your Vimeo that you have a video for SPQR Online where you are using Archimatix to make the buildings and the like. How has using parametric modeling speed up your workflow for SPQR online opposed to standard polygon modeling techniques?
    4. Can we fracture or chip away parametric Assets in similar fashion to this video?

    My last question will be sent via PM :)
     
  39. roryo

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    Hi @HeadClot88,

    1. Yes, UV maps are automatically generated. A huge amount of time was spent getting this right, especially for PlanSweep. A unique feature of UV mapping is that it is "architectural." In other words, the textures behave as one might think they should as they wrap around moldings, cornices, etc. Also, you can define the break angles independently for U and for V. I don't think I have seen this in other stand-alone modelers.

    Archimatix 2015-06-08_10-04-33_AM.jpg

    You can scale and shift textures easily in archimatix, however, you can't select a face and edit the texture for that individually. For such topological editing, it would be better to "build" the model and then use something like ProBuilder to custom edit these "frozen" meshes.

    2. You have complete control over the number of tri's and you can see per palette what each node in the graph is costing you (please see the shield character example above). Basically, the tri's are a function of the number of segments in your "generating Shapes." As far as draw calls go, that is a function of how you choose to combine meshes (which you will see in the upcoming video). Basically, you can make the whole model a single monolithic mesh, if you like, and thus one draw call. On the other hand, if you want items to have individual rigid bodies, you will probably choose not to combine, e. g. a wall of breakable blocks (many draw calls).

    3. With a strongly "typed" architecture such as with Roman temples or basilicas, each building is very similar to the next, and yet for player orientation, you want each to be unique. This is where parametric modeling shines. You encode the "type" in the nodal graph and then make unique variations. To model one Roman building, I think it is faster in Archimatix than in Maya or 3D Studio Max. To model several dozen, no contest! You can build out an entire city very quickly where all the buildings seem like they are built from the same group of masons, but with no two buildings being exactly alike. The first building may take a few minutes to a few hours, but then each additional building variation in a few seconds. This is not to mention that in later releases, one will be able to generate whole cities procedurally.

    4. You cannot randomly fracture away meshes generated by archimatix. However, you could construct the meshes to be "fracturable". For example, a stack of column drums with rigid bodies attached would break apart when hit with a projectile.
     
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  40. HeadClot88

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    Hey @roryo -

    This sounds like an major solution to a major problem that I have been running into. Not enough man hours to model each modular building in my large scale environments.

    That said - Got a few more questions -

    1. How much will this asset be priced at?
    2. Since UV Maps are generated by Archimatix do we apply the materials inside the modeler or just how we normally do inside unity?
    3. Can we manually define smoothing groups (Not sure if this is the right terminology) inside the Archimatix modeler?
     
  41. roryo

    roryo

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    1. The price will be around $150, but I am planning an introductory price of $95 for the first month or so.

    2. Each palette in the graph has a material field in the Texture foldout. You can drag a material from the project view to this field or you can click the little circle to the right of the material field to bring up a popup window of your materials (this is a standard Unity material field). You cannot yet drag from the Project view over the object in the Scene view. Any material will work since, in the end, the meshes Archimatix generates are standard Unity Mesh objects. In the Character Shield tutorial above, you can see a material being added.

    3. You can't currently define smoothing groups by say a rubber band selection of vertices. This would be more suited to a topological editor. In Archimatix, you are not operating on vertices or faces directly, but rather defining how these will get iteratively generated. That being said, in the future, there could be more operators added to allow algorithmically defined groupings that would get some smoothing, deforming, etc. on them. For now, the grouping is based on the generating shapes.

    Thanks for the great questions, @HeadClot88!
     
  42. roryo

    roryo

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    Hot of the press, this video shows how to combine meshes, choose colliders and add rigid bodies to Archimatix models.

     
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  43. pcg

    pcg

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    Awesome. And audio too :)

    Couple of questions.
    Am I assuming correct that once you hit build and create you object, that it creates a mesh and then this object can be treated like any other game object in that I can create a prefab etc which would allow people to use tools like Fracture and Destruction for exploding meshes built with this ?
    Is this compatible with Probuilder, ie if I create an object via your tool can I then use Probuilder to manipulate it and create an interior ?
    I see you can specify segments for the 2d shape the object is created from but I was wondering if you specify how many segments are on the height of each extrude? Again I'm thinking about the possibility of using Probuilder on objects created with your tool.
     
  44. roryo

    roryo

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    Again with the great questions, @pcg

    Yes, when you hit build, a normal mesh is created that can be saved as a prefab and do anything that any mesh in Unity can do. I haven't checked compatibility with ProBuilder yet. I assume that meshes generated by Archimatix can be ProBuilderized, but then again, you know what they say about assuming...! I will give it a try.

    In general, such segmentation of an extrude is possible with curve segments. For example, instead of an extrude, you could make a Shape with multiple verts and then use that as a section Shape in a PlanSweep, essentially making an Extrude but segmented any way you like. For example, in the set of four columns above, you could reduce the bulge to zero for a vertical shaft but with subdivision. In any case, I will see about adding a vertical segments control to the Extrude Mesher for convenience.
     
  45. roryo

    roryo

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    Looks like an Archimatix mesh does indeed ProBuilderize.
     
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  46. pcg

    pcg

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    Great news on the ProBuilderize compatibility and what you already have with the PlanSweep sounds perfect to me.
     
  47. kittik

    kittik

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    This asset looks immense. I can't wait to buy it and use it. I've bookmarked the page and look forward to the updates. :)
     
  48. roryo

    roryo

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  49. roryo

    roryo

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    If anyone is going to be at Unite Boston next week and would like to meet up for a personalized live demo of Archimatix, drop me a line!
     
  50. elbows

    elbows

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    I have to carefully save my money up to be able to afford to buy this when it comes out - do you have an updated sense of when it might be ready to submit to the asset store? Thanks.