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Official Unity Splines

Discussion in 'World Building' started by gabrielw_unity, Oct 5, 2022.

  1. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

    Unity Technologies

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    upload_2022-10-5_13-52-58.png


    Welcome to the Splines discussion thread. You can use this thread to ask for help, share feedback, and have discussions about the Splines package.

    Introduction
    Splines provides a shared solution for path-based tooling, meaning:
    1. As an artist, you now have built-in ability to
      - Animate cameras, characters, particles or anything else along a path!
      - Create fences, walls, paths and other details that require placing many objects along a path
      - Easily build and modify tubes, wiring, and similar objects
    2. As an artist, you can expect same basic visuals, shortcuts, and tooling when working with any Spline-based features - no need to learn and re-learn
    3. As a tool/feature developer, you can use Splines as a base for your own solutions (for yourself, the Asset Store, etc)
    Resources
    Requirements
    • The minimum required Unity version is 2022.1
    Getting started
    1. Download Unity 2022.1 or newer through the Hub.
    2. Open your project in Unity and go to Project Settings > Package Manager
    3. Go to Window > Package Manager.
    4. Search for "Splines" and install
    5. Use "GameObject > Spline > Draw Spline Tool ..." to begin creating your first Spline
    Current state

    Splines 2.0 is the currently available release, with numerous improvements vs 1.x:
    • Ability to draw connected and disconnected branches
    • More tangent controls and modes
    • Ability to select and edit multiple spline elements simultaneously
    • Default components for Animating, Instantiating, and Extruding along a Spline
    • Improved element visuals and interaction
    • API, bug fixes, and more - see the Changelog for details
    What's next
    Splines 2.1 (coming soon) is landing soon with more artist-focused features and general polish. Future releases will be bug fixing and maintenance - no new features are currently planned.

    Feedback
    In terms of feedback, we're especially looking for:
    • Can you think of any use cases that are not covered yet?
    • Are there any workflows that are unclear or missing?
    • Is there anything that is unclear or that you don’t understand?
    • Are there any issues or unclear parts in the documentation?
    Please share your feedback in this thread.

    How to report bugs
    Ideally, we'd like any bugs reported through the built-in bug reporter tool, as that will automatically provide us with some relevant context. When reporting bugs, please:
    • Attach a (stripped) project when there are issues with X.
    • Attach X files when there are issues with X.
    Have a look at this page for more information and best practices around bug reporting.

    Once you have submitted a bug report through the bug reporter, please feel free to start a discussion about it in this thread.

    Thank you for your interest, we're looking forward to your feedback!
     
  2. shikhrr

    shikhrr

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    Any plans for spline system integration with the terrain?
     
    useraccount1 likes this.
  3. Onigiri

    Onigiri

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    Small feedback: circle spline in create menu is not so circle. See how it looks compared to sphere collider
    upload_2022-10-6_17-42-24.png
     
  4. PaulMDev

    PaulMDev

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    I would really like being able to repeat and bend decals along a spline.
     
  5. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    That's up to the Terrain Team! :) Lots of good uses there, for sure.
     
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  6. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    Uho ... could you file a bug report? Thanks!
     
  7. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    Sure, that could certainly be done by an Asset Store/custom solution. Spline is open to all for use, we're excited to see what everyone starts building with this :)
     
    mahdi_jeddi likes this.
  8. crawfis

    crawfis

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    So I am in Unity 2022.1.6f1 with the package manager updated today and it does not show the Spline 2 package. Current version and only one installed is 1.01. Even tried to include preview packages.
     
  9. crawfis

    crawfis

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    It shows up in 2022.2b by default. Note, there are compiler errors with the Samples you may have downloaded so those need deleted when upgrading.
     
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  10. Onigiri

    Onigiri

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    Ok, done CASE IN-19005
     
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  11. Rowlan

    Rowlan

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    • Spline subdivision: Subdivide a spline, preferrably not the entire spline, but a range of knots
    • Knot reduction: Un-subdivide a spline and reduce the knot count
    • Convex and concave hull: Have a spline created a round a set of points (or gameobject positions) to create a closed spline area
    • Selection API: the selection API is currently closed, there's no way I could access selected knots and eg subdivide between them myself
    • Center the transform's pivot: There should be a button for that
    • Extending an existing spline is totally unclear. I only found out by accident how that works. Preferrably the tooltip on the "Add Knot" toolbar button should be extended by that information.
    Feature request:
    • new splines should be set to Auto, currently it's Bezier. nobody wants to mess with Bezier when they start with splines
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2022
    Lars-Steenhoff and shikhrr like this.
  12. Rowlan

    Rowlan

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    On a general note: The Splines are good, but they lack feedback from users. I toyed around with the spline widths that Jason implemented for MicroVerse. Personally I feel some simple API calls are missing. Like eg I have a spline with 2 knots, start and end knot. Then inbetween 3 spline data which define the width.

    Rough example just to visualize this:

    ex.jpg

    For one I had to figure out how to access the knots at all via script. In the Splines API t is mixed up and used as knot index and normalized value. That's rather confusing. Then I needed to get all width positions and width values. That's not possible currently, not in a straightforward way. I had to create a list of normalized t values of the spline data including the bezier knot positions at start and end, then go through that list and evaluate the positions and widths relative to [0,1] including the points that actually don't exist as bezier knot.

    That could be easily added to the spline utils. And should be. Things like that.

    In other words: Spline is good, but lacks polish. Don't stop developing it before the goal. Go the extra mile please :)
     
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  13. Shizola

    Shizola

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    Why are Unity stopping development on this before anyone's had a chance to use it on a real production? Insanity. Such a crucial tool, development should be going on indefinitely.
     
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  14. PaulMDev

    PaulMDev

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    Did they ?
     
  15. Shizola

    Shizola

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    In the OP
    "Future releases will be bug fixing and maintenance - no new features are currently planned."

    I only knew because the MicroVerse dev has been highlighting some of its limitations.
     
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  16. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    Hey folks! This is somewhat of a misunderstanding. As the starting post here says, we're actually still working on features and improvements right now, for the 2.1 release. Some of the most exciting updates, especially for artists, coming there!

    After 2.1, yes we're stepping back to let the system gain adoption, get heaps of real-world data, and figure out what comes next for Splines. That step-back also allows us to shift our team's primary feature focus to our next big ticket item, native greyboxing tools - basically the "make ProBuilder really good, make it default" that's been asked for 5 years since Karl and I joined Unity. So that's super exciting ... and yes, it should make heavy use of Splines, too!
     
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  17. Rowlan

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    Is there anything you can share about 2.1, ie which features will be in? Just for planning ahead.

    In that regard with ProBuilder: Will you guys implement mesh creation with spline crossings, eg a road network?
     
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  18. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    2.1 - sure! It's mainly artist tooling and experience items. The best one is a "direct manipulation", similar to 2D solutions, so you can click-drag on an element to move it, like you would for box collider handles/etc. For this iteration, it's always in the item's local space, and only does the move action - again, very much like 2D, very simple, designed to match expectations for folks coming from those type of apps (Figma, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc). However, this is something we're thinking will also be critical to fast, intuitive greyboxing tools, so a generic, 3D solution could land with those tools. Very excited for that.

    Visual improvements, tons of bug fixes, and many API improvements are also there. Should be finalized soon, so I can share specifics then!

    Also, a big, big focus of Splines is Asset Store or other external use, so when we say "support and maintenance", there's still room (and desire) to consider API work. Especially as we find potential blockers, ie the editor selection business you pointed out.
     
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  19. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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  20. TJHeuvel-net

    TJHeuvel-net

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    Are there plans to release a module that allows us to morph a mesh along a spline? E.g. a cliff face which we can bend, something like what we see here?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2022
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  21. Shizola

    Shizola

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    Spline package has a shortcut with the default shortcut for Toggling global / local (x). Quite annoying.
     
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  22. TJHeuvel-net

    TJHeuvel-net

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    I'm a programmer, in general i really dislike it when the names in the inspector are different from the classnames.

    upload_2022-11-3_20-18-2.png

    After i've added the Spline component i wanted to interact with this in a script, so i tried to get the Spline component. However, that doesnt exist, i should get a SplineContainer. I feel like if the name of the script is SplineContainer, it should show as SplineContainer in the inspector. When i try to disable the gizmo, i need to search for SplineContainer again in the scene view dropdown.

    Honestly i find SplineContainer quite contrary to what the rest of Unity's GameObjects and Components do. When i want a single entity to have multiple boxcolliders, i simply add a few to one GameObject. There is no need for a BoxColliderContainer. Why couldnt we just add multiple Spline components to our GameObjects?

    Happy to see the NativeSpline though!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
  23. jbooth

    jbooth

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    Is there a reason when you use "Draw Spline Tool" in 2.1 it sets up all the curve tangents to create linear interpolation between the points? Why would this possibly be a good default? The only way I can seem to fix it is to manually edit every splines in and out tangents to make it smooth. It's a spline tool, not a polygon tool, shouldn't it act like a spline tool?

     
    Novack likes this.
  24. chrpetry

    chrpetry

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    I am on Unity 2022.1.20 and can only install Splines 1.01. Is there a reason for this?
    Would like to test/implement latest Splines version if possible.

    Something on 2022.2 that is needed? Don't want to use beta for this...
     
  25. Aka_ToolBuddy

    Aka_ToolBuddy

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    Hi
    I have the following
    Code (CSharp):
    1.  public class X : MonoBehaviour
    2. {
    3.         [SerializeField] SplineContainer splineContainer;
    4.  
    5.         void BindEvents()
    6.         {
    7.             if (splineContainer)
    8.             {
    9.                 splineContainer.Spline.changed += OnSplineRefresh;
    10.  
    11.             }
    12.         }
    13.  
    14.         private void OnSplineRefresh()
    15.         {
    16.             // Do Stuff
    17.         }
    18.  
    19.           ......
    20. }
    BindEvents is called at some point.
    Imagine that splineContainer is set to Spline1. Then via editor, I set it to Spline2. How could I stop listening to Spline1?
    Usually, in similar patterns, I do that inside the event listener, where I compare the event sender with the current's field value, but in this case, the changed event does not let you know who is the sender.
     
  26. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    No plans for this right now, but it's a great suggestion. We tried to hit the 3 key items first (Instantiate, Animate, Extrude), and ideally we can continue to add more as releases continue. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Regarding the name not matching - it's hard to recall, but I believe you can blame me for this. Reasons were had, but in retrospect, I agree. Might be able to change it.

    I'll defer to @karrrrl on that, I believe it has to do with ensuring data can be reliably used between parts of a branching spline.

    Thanks!!

    Hi! We followed most spline/vector network convention here (Figma, Photoshop, others) - a single click creates a linear point, or a click-drag will place the point and allow you to set the tangents on mouse release. Sorry to hear this wasn't clear to you, and it's this exact set of issues (mouse and modifier actions being totally opaque) that is really pushing the "Helper Bar" work to get done. So you'd have a dynamic info bar saying "click to do X, click drag for Y, CTRL click for z" and so forth.

    Also, check out the Tool Options overlay - you can always toggle through options (if they exist) up there. For Draw Spline Tool, one of those options is the default type, which you can change to an auto-smoothed point :) Hope that helps!
     
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  27. jbooth

    jbooth

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    Ok, found the tool toggle for auto vs. linear - (very not obvious, along with the click and hold method) - but when set to auto it still creates linear points by default. I would prefer to be able to set that and just click, as this gives you a smooth curve without having to think about tangents.

    Further, I'd suggest having a menu item for the default - "Draw Spline Tool", "Draw Polygon Tool", perhaps. Or linear vs curves. Either way, having to select that tool, then go to a menu making sure not to click anything, then click holding for every point is very tedious, and if you make a mistake, esc cancels spline editing and ends your spline, so your stuck with either starting over or trying to fix your linear spline to be curved (a button to reset the tangents to what would be auto would be nice, because switching their mode doesn't change the actual tangent data)..

    Note that all your references here are 2d spline editors - but in 3d your often working on a 3d topology (like terrain) where linear is not very desirable, and wild tangent deviations often don't get what you actually want (ie: Conforming roughly to the terrain).



    After setting the spline to bezier and continuous, it's still linear. I would expect switching it to bezier and continuous, I'd have some kind of continuous spline segment - instead of having to manually try to align the tangents to look continuous.

    Also, any chance those classes will be made public so we can not have SplineData<T> completely ruined when a change is made to a spline? Or have them actually work with multiple splines in a container?
     
  28. jbooth

    jbooth

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    Also it would likely make sense for code issues to get reviewed by QA engineers who have some basic understanding of code. I submitted in a bug that SplineReorderableListUtility is private because Unity employee's in this thread are suggesting I use that class to solve some of my spline issues, and QA kicked it back for not having a repro project, so I just spent time making a non-compiling project for basically no reason to prove that a class is private, when you can see that it's not public just by looking at the class definition. Having to jump through extra hoops like this is silly.

    Like that shouldn't need a repro project made for it.
     
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  29. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    Yup, this confusion is a result of the old "system" - basically wild west, in which every tool maker needed to choose where to put their options/etc, resulting in no predictable UX. The new Contextual Workflows system is now in place to solve that (and more), but it'll take a bit for that to be become second nature.

    Speaking of ... if you ever see a Unity-provided Tool (anything that sets mouse interaction in the Scene), and it does not show it's options in the Tool Options overlay ... please file a bug report, or 3. External pressure is great, too!

    That's a bug too, I'll check here later (not on the machine), but if you get a moment to file a bug report on that one, many thanks! :D (I firmly believe good bug reporting should have monetary compensation ... ha, I can dream eh?)

    The Tool should be simply remembering your preference (so you never need to change that Tool Option, after the first time). Again, might be a bug - I'll look into this one later today, thanks.

    Regarding "a button to reset the tangents to what would be auto would be nice, because switching their mode doesn't change the actual tangent data" - I assume you are selecting all the points, then clicking "Auto" in the inspector? That should, as it says, have the result you expect/want. Can you clarify?

    Right, for insight there - a click or click-drag style of creation (2D) generally works best for hand-placing, and in situations where you need the spline to conform to the surface below, nothing is truly useful other than a Spline modifier/system that projects a path onto that surface (often, the spline itself would be just a 2D one, in those cases, ie Terrain uses). That's a separate solution for sure, and didn't surface as a requirement in our user research (note on that, I think I mentioned before, please please jump into those in the future if you have time, super helpful for all sides!)

    Can you clarify this?
     
  30. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    Do you have a link, title, something that I can use to check in on this? Thanks!
     
  31. jbooth

    jbooth

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    Nope, it makes no visible change to the spline when you switch between auto, continuous or linear. What I suspect is happening is it was bezier all along and the tangents are just set to the values that make them linear- so when you change the mode, it doesn't change the values, so it's still just linear. I would have expected that changing the mode would change the tangent values.

    IN-20418 - the original bug report, which lists the forum posts and quotes saying to use that utility class and me saying it was private.
    IN-23440 - the repro project I filed that does not compile because it attempts to call a function in that class.
     
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  32. Rowlan

    Rowlan

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    2.1 seems to be broken. I'm getting loops while painting splines:

    knots.jpg
     
  33. JoergHofmann74

    JoergHofmann74

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    Hi guys,
    how do you get the 2.1? I have the package manager preview features enabled and are on 2022.1.20f, but there is only splines 1.01 available.
    Cheers J
     
  34. You can always try to add it by name, there you can specify version too.
     
  35. TomislavKlepac

    TomislavKlepac

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    Hi,
    This package is very promising and I would like to use it in a game that is an endless runner on a procedurally generated spline.
    The general idea is that I have several splines that are pooled and activated as the player moves forward. As they are drawn from the pool their Knots are randomly modified. I'm not sure if this is the best solution.

    Anyways, the issue I'm facing here is how to modify existing splines (only position and rotation of knots). An example would be really helpful.
     
  36. Aka_ToolBuddy

    Aka_ToolBuddy

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    Hi @gabrielw_unity. Is the 'changed' event planned to have a sender parameter? If not, how would you recommend to solve the issue detailed in the post I quoted?

    Thanks
     
  37. Aka_ToolBuddy

    Aka_ToolBuddy

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    @gabrielw_unity also, when listening on the 'changed' event, the value of 'Closed' is not up to date.
    This is using Splines 1.0.1. I change the Closed value through the inspector.
    The issues seems to come from this:

    Code (CSharp):
    1.         public void ApplyProxyToProperty(SplineUIProxy proxy, SerializedProperty property)
    2.         {
    3.             ...
    4.             targetSpline?.SetDirty();
    5.             ...
    6.             EditorApplication.delayCall += () => SplineConversionUtility.UpdateEditableSplinesForTarget(property.serializedObject.targetObject);
    7.         }
    The event is called in SetDirty, while the spline seems to be updated in the delayed call
     
  38. jbooth

    jbooth

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    Do we have any estimated date when the SP will be re-added to the package? Because right now it literally takes the SP off every spline I touch..



    It's literally impossible to use this thing without having it randomly destroy curves.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2022
    Rowlan likes this.
  39. Aka_ToolBuddy

    Aka_ToolBuddy

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    Sorry for the question, but what does SP stand for?
     
  40. jbooth

    jbooth

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    SP - the first two letters of Spline - if you remove them, you get Line - which is all it seems able to reliably create right now..
     
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  41. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    Hey! :) I'm UX on this so I can't help with code side, sorry - @kaarrrllll can help you there! Also, is there a reason you are using the much older 1.x package? Can you try with 2.x? Thanks!
     
  42. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    Sorry, standard response is best here XD ... is there a bug report for this? I can always check and bump those, this looks mighty bad :)
     
  43. gabrielw_unity

    gabrielw_unity

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    Hrrm, looks like something is wonky with the auto-smooth - I assume that's the type of those point? Could you confirm, and perhaps file a bug report? Thanks!
     
  44. jbooth

    jbooth

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    No, I've completely given up on your QA department which just bounces bugs for any possible reason they can come up with. I know it's not useful, but neither is your QA.

    I created one for the fact that a class is private, linked to this forum post where a unity dev recommend I use that class to work around the various issues, and then bounced it and had me make a demo project to prove that the class was private, which basically just didn't compile for obvious reasons.

    I wrote another that loft road doesn't generate correct normals (it generates them, then just assigns Vector3.up to the normal instead of using them - clearly a typo). I included the code fix as well, since it was pretty obvious, and that was bounced for not having a video and repro project. I think I managed to get that one sent along by arguing with them enough to have it sent directly to one of you.

    Should I write one that just says "Click on a spline key and it becomes linear" - because that's the full extent of the repro and it happens 100% of the time that I click on a spline key. They will bounce and it will take several hours, unpaid, which I don't have time for, along with the serial number of my first modem, for them to take it seriously. I realize QA is frontline defense for the horde of bad bugs, but seriously I have bug fixes in your c++ source.

    Meanwhile after having half a dozen bugs bounced on terrain for similar frustrating reasons, I managed to get the attention of some dev's by the most reliable way of getting things fixed at unity - bitching about it on twitter. It's lat least 5x as effective as writing bug reports.
     
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  45. jbooth

    jbooth

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    Also, if you want a repro that they won't accept:

    Install Splines 2.1.0
    Download MicroVerse-Core Collection from the UAS
    Open the MicroVerse-Demo/Scene/2x2Demo scene from the package
    Select a spline (they under MicroVerse/Paths
    Select a knot on that spline
    Watch the data get destroyed
     
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  46. Rowlan

    Rowlan

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    Please make an end to the guesswork. You can't possibly know what I want:

    d.png
    Make it either all Auto or all Bezier, I prefer Auto. But currently obviously there's some delta deciding the nature of my spline, that's just plain awful. I have to click through every single knot to see what it is. You can never get that right.
     
  47. Rowlan

    Rowlan

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    Here now I have a corner at the top knot by that auto detection. That makes no sense at all. Yes, it may be a bug, but I do not want this behaviour guessing what I want. I can switch to Bezier myself if I wanted to at that position.

    Unity_JuCF2JhTzs.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2022
  48. Rowlan

    Rowlan

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2016
    Posts:
    4,536
    I don't have it anymore. I switched to 2022.2 and tried to repro, but couldn't so far.

    What I did find out though is that you can set the bezier while painting. That's actually quite good, but having to find out by accident is just terrible usability. imo there should be 2 options:

    * simple, ie everything auto
    * advanced this auto detection / bezier tangent dragging mode

    Personally I prefer auto all the time, but this other mode has its purpose as well.

    I filed a bug report, number is IN-25464.

    Here's for everyone how that new mode looks:



    Unity should do some tutorial on that. Also how to append knots and what not.

    Is there some internal beta one can apply for? Some of us based their work on the Unity Splines and it would be nice to have issues fixed before the users get their hands on the new versions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2022
    Lars-Steenhoff likes this.
  49. jbooth

    jbooth

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Posts:
    5,461

    Yeah, they explained the rational behind this a few posts up - basically to match vector tools for 2d painting.

    But I don't think that makes a ton of sense since we're primarily not working in 2d, so leading with a 2d tangent control doesn't make sense in a 3d world. It makes it very easy to yeet the spline off into space or have it cut through geometry you didn't want to since its view angle dependent to tell what's happening. So the whole thing just feels unintuitive for practical use cases now, as it basically assumes we're only using 2d splines in a 3d engine. Also the default being a line is bleh - I constantly fight with it and am never sure when I'm going to get a line or a curve (not like the curves survive for long anyway).
     
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  50. Aka_ToolBuddy

    Aka_ToolBuddy

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Posts:
    559
    Thanks a lot @gabrielw_unity

    I was using version 1 because, as far as I know, that version was the only one available on a non beta Unity version at the time of my tests. Now that Unity 2022.2 is available, I can test on spline v2 . Will keep you updated. But still:
    1. I am using the Splines package in the context of making my editor asset compatible with it. Knowing that I have a sizable part of my customers that are not planning to move to Unity 2022.2 anytime soon, I was hoping on making my asset compatible with splines v1 instead of splines v2. Thus the following question:
      @kaarrrllll Supposing that the issues are solved in v2, are there any plans to backport such fixes on v1?
    2. The documentation about which version of Unity is compatible with which package is very wrong:
      upload_2022-12-10_17-39-50.png
      source:
      https://docs.unity3d.com/Packages/com.unity.splines@1.0/manual/index.html
      and
      "Splines is compatible with Unity version 2022.1 and later"
      source:
      https://docs.unity3d.com/Packages/com.unity.splines@2.1/manual/index.html
      I reported the issue in the documentation page.