TopoColors - Workflow Tool

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TopoColorsAuthor: Hirazi Blue
TopoColors is an addon for Softimage to visualize the »topological« state of the current polygon mesh, or, put in simpler words, to temporarily color all polygons according to the number of neighboring vertices (which results in a blueish color for Tris, a greenish color for Quads and a reddish color for NGons. To achieve this it places an ICETree in the Animation part of the construction stack and loads, if it hasn? been loaded into the scene yet, a Matlib, containing the temporary materials for Tris, Quads and NGons. While modeling the colors keep getting updated. Install the xsiaddon & RESTART Softimage (you should preferably install this in the User Addon location, as some Workgroup installs mysteriously fail, while others equally mysteriously do function.) [..]

Continue reading in the pdf file provided here.

Topocolors beautifully operates »live« on the mesh and doesn't interfere at all with the modeling process, even when doing complex modeling operations — as long as »Freeze Modeling« is used instead of »Freeze«, which would delete the TopoColors ICE operator.

local backup: TopoColors1.2.xsiaddon

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Hirazi Blue
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TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by Hirazi Blue » 20 Dec 2012, 11:27

TopoColors is a small workflow tool (for Softimage 2012 and newer versions) that helps visualizing the Tris/Quads/NGons on a polygon mesh to help with cleaning up the mesh and reduce the number of Tris and NGons. More info is included in the ReadMe file.

Image
In this silly screencast ("there's a first time for everything") Headlight is set to on, this is a personal preference and is NOT set by the addon.

Please make sure to restart Softimage after installing the addon.

Don’t go testing this on a production critical mesh straightaway!!! ;)

Special thanks goes to sant0s_ who graciously offered to test this.
TopoColors1.2.1.zip
(updated to 1.2.1 merely to include a remark in the ReadMe about changing the default colors permanently)

belated edit: Inspired partly by a thread Falam posted and removed before I could finish this...
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Kerro Perro
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Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by Kerro Perro » 20 Dec 2012, 12:25

Ooh nice one, one thing that would great to add would be if it could detect the very hard to find "non manifold geometry" and vertex sharing two edges wich drives mudbox nuts...

Also one more post and you hit 3000! :ymparty: :p

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rray
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Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by rray » 20 Dec 2012, 13:28

:-bd Cool idea, looks really useful. If I may suggest something: Maybe change default n-gon coloring since its bright red can be confused with a polygon selection (depending on how the light falls on the object)
softimage resources section updated Feb 7 2019

Falam

Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by Falam » 20 Dec 2012, 13:35

rray wrote::-bd Cool idea, looks really useful. If I may suggest something: Maybe change default n-gon coloring since its bright red can be confused with a polygon selection (depending on how the light falls on the object)
It is a cool idea <cough> :) I'm going to give it a try see what could be fixed on it. Nice Blue, thank you :)

SpookyMunky
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Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by SpookyMunky » 20 Dec 2012, 14:01

Very cool, thank you for this :). I like how just swapping out the material in TopoColors lib in explorer works so I can just have slightly different hued versions of my object material or something instead of constant.. can see me using this quite alot :)
Kerro Perro wrote:Ooh nice one, one thing that would great to add would be if it could detect the very hard to find "non manifold geometry" and vertex sharing two edges wich drives mudbox nuts...
lol, strangely evil mudbox was the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this post also :D damn its vague "you have a problem .. somewhere.....not gonna tell you where though ! muwahaha, good luck finding it!" ;)

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Kerro Perro
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Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by Kerro Perro » 20 Dec 2012, 14:17

SpookyMunky wrote:lol, strangely evil mudbox was the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this post also :D damn its vague "you have a problem .. somewhere.....not gonna tell you where though ! muwahaha, good luck finding it!" ;)
:))

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by Hirazi Blue » 20 Dec 2012, 21:53

@Kerro Perro – I think that would go WAAAAY beyond the boundaries of this simple tool. I primarily wrote this, because it was relatively easy to achieve, after I figured out one basic ‘trick”… This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to look at it BTW, but then I’d need an example of a mesh that is plagued by this problem and/or someone to sponsor me my own private license of Mudbox.
$-)

@rray – You’re right, but it somewhat depends on the kind of workflow you use, I guess. In my own typical usage scenario, hunting for Tris and NGons is a distinct adventure and with this method I don’t need to have any polygons selected. I deselect everything, select the object itself, add TopoColors to the object, enter “Edge” or “Point” mode and start slaving away. That said, if anyone can come up with better default colors, I’ll gladly take them into consideration for the next version. I have already updated the original ReadMe file to explain how to change the default colors permanently by hand.
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Falam

Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by Falam » 21 Dec 2012, 03:56

Hirazi Blue wrote:@Kerro Perro – I think that would go WAAAAY beyond the boundaries of this simple tool. I primarily wrote this, because it was relatively easy to achieve, after I figured out one basic ‘trick”… This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to look at it BTW, but then I’d need an example of a mesh that is plagued by this problem and/or someone to sponsor me my own private license of Mudbox.
$-)

@rray – You’re right, but it somewhat depends on the kind of workflow you use, I guess. In my own typical usage scenario, hunting for Tris and NGons is a distinct adventure and with this method I don’t need to have any polygons selected. I deselect everything, select the object itself, add TopoColors to the object, enter “Edge” or “Point” mode and start slaving away. That said, if anyone can come up with better default colors, I’ll gladly take them into consideration for the next version. I have already updated the original ReadMe file to explain how to change the default colors permanently by hand.
If you want to pursue it, I have a private license of Mudbox, I could test it on ?

It is a nice tool, the original concept was taken on by Hirazi Blue, who scripted it, makes life a little easier when modelling. Think about this idea, if the tool automatically turned n-gons into either quads or tris, this is no excuse to model sloppy, but the odd n-gon that squeezes it's self on the object, the tool could fix that intelligently.

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Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by SpookyMunky » 21 Dec 2012, 05:37

I made a cheesy script to make me like this a bit more in my workflow. I was trying to figure out how to come up with a way to use the surfaces initial rgb as a basis for the sliders and how to make it alot less situation dependant, use "if" commands for different scenarios etc - when m8 came round and we got drunk :P.. too drunk to think on it now hehe, might aswell show and maybe others can point out where I am going wrong and laugh ? :D

http://pastebin.com/xrVMxvG0
It is very rough, basically run topocolors on your object then fire off the script and select a material. As long as the material has a phong node that doesn't have any inputs in its rgb, it should duplicate the material and replace the original TopoColors ones with some basic control.

This is so far from what I envisioned heh, dunno how much it is worth really :), just thought I would share.

My initial idea was select the material and it'd do a hue shift that could be controlled, but keep the basic settings you have on the object you are working on. This hack I ended up with at least it keeps the original phong settings, and with a bit of tweaking can get the subtle hue shift I was thinking on. The ambient slider you can adjust to get more of a pronounced colour if you haven't set scene ambient level to 0. Also the material renaming part won't work if you already have cloned the material that you select.. something with the same name but 1 after it hehe... unfinished and sucky, probably alot better off just duplicating the material three times and adjusting manually :)

Edit: oops, should also note that you seem to have to pick the material from explorer set to materials.. dunno how I ended up with that restriction hehe, I suck :(

Moderator edit: changed the CODE tags into URL tags - HB

SpookyMunky
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Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by SpookyMunky » 21 Dec 2012, 06:14

Strangely, now that I look at it again through drunken - shoulda gone to sleep hours ago - eyes, I think I was looking at it backwards when sober maybe ?.. like instead of duplicating the original surface from pick slection, my script should jst create new materials and link them via expression to the pick session material in every way but with sliders to control colour offset and ambient levels.. hope that makes sense heh.. gonna have a play when I get up, should work alot better than what I was trying unless my drunken brain is playing tricks on me :D

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by Hirazi Blue » 21 Dec 2012, 11:01

Falam wrote:Think about this idea, if the tool automatically turned n-gons into either quads or tris, this is no excuse to model sloppy, but the odd n-gon that squeezes it's self on the object, the tool could fix that intelligently.
I think you're dreaming of some kind of auto-retopology, like 3D Coat has and that iamVFX at one time seemed to have been working on. This is, however, way beyond my own (meager) programming/scripting/ICEing capabilities. The upside of my little tool, I hope, is that you still retain full control on everything that's happening, as you still have to do everything manually anyway. It was never intended to (ultimately) fix any meshes for you, it was meant as a visual tool to use while fixing meshes yourself.
;)
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Re: TopoColors - Workflow Tool

Post by Hirazi Blue » 26 Dec 2012, 15:56

Earlier today I presented a small experimental update (version 1.3) in this thread. I have, however, been forced to take this down again, as there was a bug in it (I rushed to complete it) and I didn't have the time to go bug hunting afterwards. I think I know what went wrong and will try to correct it soon. Or, as the introduced "new" feature isn't that useful anyway, I will probably just leave it as is...

My apologies to the three people who had already downloaded it before I took it down again...
but then again, luckily I called it an "experimental" version, I never claimed it would work...
#:-s
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