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Retopology Tools Development Roadmap

Home Forums Contour Retopology Tool Retopology Tools Development Roadmap

This topic contains 43 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Jonathan Williamson 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 44 total)
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  • #57332

    The release of Contours is just the first phase of a larger development goal to create fast and powerful retopology tools for Blender. Getting good topology is a hugely technical process that requires a lot of knowledge. The tools used to create new topology should be as simple and streamlined as possible, allowing you to better focus on the real task at hand.

    One of the reasons we have chosen to charge for Contours is to help create a sustainable development environment that allows us to really push the tools further. This includes paying all developers for their time. All of the code for Contours is licensed as GPL.

    Below I have outlined some of our initial goals for the next versions of Contours and other new tools.

    Tool Development Roadmap

    Contours is just the first of several tools we have designed. By its self, Contours does not fulfill the complete retopo process, instead being limited to just the cylindrical forms. And so we have designed it as part of a larger package of tools that create a complete retopology toolset.

    Contours – Available Now

    The Contours tool allows quick and easy retopologizing of cylindrical forms through the drawing of strokes. After drawing strokes a preview mesh is shown. All generated loops in the preview mesh are adjustable via a widget to allow for easy adjustments and precise results.

    Implemented Features

    • Stroke generated retopology - Draw strokes to generate a retopo mesh of a high-resolution model.
    • Automatic mesh preview - Show exact preview of the generated retopology mesh before committing to it.
    • Automatic surface snapping - Make the retopology mesh conform to surface of the high-resolution model.
    • Loop adjustment controls - Allow loops orientation and position to be adjusted on the fly.
    • Adjustable loop vertex count - Allow the vertex count for loops to be changed at anytime before mesh generation.
    • Modalized - Keep the viewport interactive while using contours.
    • Addon Preferences - Contours comes with extensive preferences to adapt to your liking.

    Features in Development

    Poly Strip Sketching – In Development

    The Poly Strip tool is being designed to allow easy layout of key topology regions. In essence, it will act like a sketch extrusion tool. It will work by drawing a guide over the high-resolution mesh surface and then generating a strip of polygons along the guide, conforming to the surface. This will also allow the user to start the poly strip from an existing edge or as a new strip entirely.

    The main purpose of this tool is for laying down the primary loops in a model in a fast, effective manner.

     Planned Features

    To make a more complete tool there are a few key features that we wish to implement. None of these features are guaranteed, as it depends largely on development funds, research, and any other road blocks that may pop up.

    • Symmetry Plane - For automatic center-line detection, allowing the use of contours on symmetrical forms like human torsos.
    • Interpolated Loops - To allow automatic loop subdivision, permitting user to retopo a full cylindrical form with as few as two strokes and any number of in-between, interpolated loops.
    • Feature Detection  - Automatic detection of ridges, peaks, and valleys within the high-resolution model. This will allow for loops to follow details, resulting in better surface recreation.
    • Contour Guide Strokes - To trace the length of a form, automatically propagating loops down the stroke. See an early development video

     

    Poly Patch Fill – Planned

    The Poly Patch tool is being designed to work along side Contours and Poly Strips, in order to quickly and easily fill in the large areas outlined by strips. It will work by drawing one or more guides to define the patch and then automatically filling it with a quad-only grid of polys. Similar to Contours and Strips, it will allow extension of existing meshes or the creation of independent patches (mesh islands). As with Contours and Strips, all generated topology will conform to the high-resolution surface.

    #57671

    gavk
    Participant

    hi there jonathan,
    well this looks just an awesome tool to own, i have watched some vids on retopo and it does look a ball ache,
    so this could be worth while purchasing, just the one question, after buying the contours, the roadmap mentions the above tools, poly strip and poly fill, do these come as part of contours or are you planning to charge for these?
    thanks for your time!

    #57676

    hi there jonathan,
    well this looks just an awesome tool to own, i have watched some vids on retopo and it does look a ball ache,
    so this could be worth while purchasing, just the one question, after buying the contours, the roadmap mentions the above tools, poly strip and poly fill, do these come as part of contours or are you planning to charge for these?
    thanks for your time!

    Honestly, we don’t know yet. We would like to include them as part of the same tool. However, if the development proves to be too extensive it may be necessary to a) raise the price a bit and still give free upgrades to all current purchases, or b) offer them as separate tools.

    My hope is to offer them as a single, cohesive tool since they’re all designed to work smoothly together.

    We really won’t know until we get into the heavy development of Poly Strips and Poly Patch. Currently we are finalizing the items for Version 1 of Contours, including hotkey support for all operations, stroke session recovery and undo support, new widget implementation, and hopefully Contour Guides.

    #58162

    helojammer
    Participant

    Hey Jonathan, Thank you for taking the time. I was looking at another tool called Topogun. Now your retopology tool is much more inexpensive so I am sure that is a great selling point for anybody out there. I was wondering are you going to include some of the same features they have such as baking in textures etc. Now, I do not know a whole lot about these tools but your recent un-vailing of the new tool had me researching. I am sure you are familiar with Topogun. they typically work with Maya and 3DS etc. but It would be great to see the Blender add-on be as good as they are especially since it won’t be another program to install. just a note. again thank you for taking the time, Helojammer. website is at http://www.topogun.com

    #58212

    Hey Jonathan, Thank you for taking the time. I was looking at another tool called Topogun. Now your retopology tool is much more inexpensive so I am sure that is a great selling point for anybody out there. I was wondering are you going to include some of the same features they have such as baking in textures etc. Now, I do not know a whole lot about these tools but your recent un-vailing of the new tool had me researching. I am sure you are familiar with Topogun. they typically work with Maya and 3DS etc. but It would be great to see the Blender add-on be as good as they are especially since it won’t be another program to install. just a note. again thank you for taking the time, Helojammer. website is at http://www.topogun.com

    Hi there,

    The texturing baking features and such that you’re likely looking for are already included in Blender. You can read about them here:

    Topogun, although I’ve never used it, appears to be a great application and I know a lot of people love it. We’ve got a long ways to go with Contours but I think when it’s done it’ll make a very adequate replacement for Topogun, if that’s what you’re looking for.

    #58236

    Pierre
    Participant

    This is amazing. My biggest problem is re-topology at the moment. It made me not even want to use sculpt and just do everything in edit mode. Thank you guys so much for this development and I really hope to see this become the amazing tool that I believe it is going to be. I bought this immediately after seeing the video. Keep up the good work guys you are great.

    #58241

    helojammer
    Participant

    Hey Jonathan, I have actually never used Topogun its just something I came across while re-searching. I thought there were some baking features in Blender already but wasn’t sure how they applied. Either way as far as I can tell this is a great product and being nearly 70$ cheap then Topogun I would think the more serious fans would jump on this tool as a whole. I will need to wait a couple of weeks but I will likley get it as I move into sculpting. Keep up the GW! Helojammer.

    #58305

    Jack Schmidt
    Participant

    will we be contacted when updates become available?

    thank you

    #58336

    will we be contacted when updates become available?

    thank you

    Most definitely! All purchasers will get an email when the next version is released.

    #58541

    Mason Dula
    Participant

    Was really excited when I saw Contours… slept on it and bought it the next day. After finishing a particularly long retopology I decided I needed something and was hoping someone had made a Blender alternative. Good timing to do my search :)

    Looking forward to future updates!

    #58610

    Was really excited when I saw Contours… slept on it and bought it the next day. After finishing a particularly long retopology I decided I needed something and was hoping someone had made a Blender alternative. Good timing to do my search :)

    Looking forward to future updates!

    That’s great to hear! A new version is coming very soon with lots and lots of improvements :)

    #59319

    Stephan Deutsch
    Participant

    Hi Jonathan, great stuff! I bought the tool to support your development. Can you please let me know if you will capture the email addresses of the people who purchased it and issue notifications on when an updated version will be available? Thank you in advance!

    #59430

    Hi Jonathan, great stuff! I bought the tool to support your development. Can you please let me know if you will capture the email addresses of the people who purchased it and issue notifications on when an updated version will be available? Thank you in advance!

    Thanks for the support Stephan! All purchases include the email and so I’ll be sending out an email when the next version is ready. The next version is getting closer and closer to being done as well.

    #59503

    Vlad Mafteiu
    Participant

    Maybe is just me but don’t the last 2 tools do the same as bsurfaces addon? What’s the point of developing the same thing?

    #59573

    Maybe is just me but don’t the last 2 tools do the same as bsurfaces addon? What’s the point of developing the same thing?

    There is some overlap in the basic functionality but the workflow is much different. Several of the key differences we’re developing:

    • Automatic surface snapping
    • Mesh preview for exact results
    • Integrated interaction with Contours and other future retopology tools

    BSurfaces can provide some of the functionality we’re looking at, but it doesn’t create a workflow that is intuitive or easy. It has quite the learning curve and really doesn’t provide very optimal results for retopology. BSurfaces is much better suited for quick surface generation for new forms rather than retopology.

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