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Old 11th Apr 2007, 12:35 AM DefaultUniMesh Vertex/Normal Data Merge plugins addition (for MilkShape) #1
WesHowe
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This is a very special purpose plugin pair designed to copy vertex data from one to multiple vertices. Data copied is the vertex location (XYZ) and the bone assignments (all four) and skin weights (all three). The ostensible purpose for use would be to either stitch two separate mesh groups into an unwelded seam or to make the edge of one mesh group conform exactly to another (guide) mesh.

An example of this usage would be to import a guide mesh, say 'body' into a project. Rename this group to 'guide', and using MilkShape's up/down buttons on the groups tab, move this new 'guide' group above your existing 'body' group so that it is listed before the work mesh. Now, working on your neck area, you will see that there are pairs (or more) of vertices close together. Using the mouse, drag-select these and then run the VDM plugin. Data from the first selected vertex from the first group, guide, will be copied to the other selected vertices, making them conform exactly.

Of course, once you have finished with the 'guide' group, you delete it before exporting your mesh. Unlike snap, which moves both selected vertices to a common point, this plugin moves the second vertex to the first vertex location. After doing so, the selection status of the vertices remains unchanged. By binding this plugin to a key (an advanced MilkShape topic not covered here) you can pretty quickly make you neck, top or bottom half, sleeve and other mesh parts an exact fit for other meshes by using one as a guide.

A second plugin, the Normal Data Merge, operates the same way, but copies only the normals. So you can chain the two in tandem if youwant all that copied.

Credit for the concept goes to TiggeryPum, for her exacting design of this 'make same' plugin to meet Sims2 meshing needs.

Be careful to use only as directed, otherwise undesired side effects, like a mesh scrunched onto one little point which is only lit on one side may result.

<* Wes *>

Edit: To put a shortcut for a new plugin into MilkShape requires adding an entry into the shortcuts.ini file. In versions prior to 1.8.0, this file was located in the same directory as the ms3d.exe and plugins were.

I realized that, starting in MilkShape 1.8.0 that the shortcuts.ini file (and the other log and configuration files) was moved to (at least for Windows XP) C:\Documents and Settings\USER_NAME\Application Data\MilkShape 3D 1.x.x\

Of course, USER_NAME above will vary depending on your computer name, etc.

Note that you must change Windows Explorers options to not hide the system files, or you will never see the directory.

I didn't intend to write any documentation on assigning keys to plugins for MilkShape, but the entries for these plugins would look like:

msTS2VDM=1,C
msTS2NDM=1,N

The "msTS2VDM" is the filename (less the .dll extension), the 1 indicates to show it in the menu, and the C maps the plugin to the "c" key. Similarly, the normals plugin is mapped to the "n" key. If you are savvy and know what you want to do, you can 'steal' shortcuts from plugins you don't or rarely use and map them to the ones you do (like UniMesh) by editing the entries in this file.

OK. These plugins were added to the latest release of the UniMesh plugins (V4.09A). I have removed teh older binaries here. I want to keep all the plugins matched in same-numbered sets, so no one gets confused about what version is the latest.

You can get the latest, complete set of the UniMesh plugins in message #1 of this thread:
http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=122399
Last edited by wes_h : 1st Jul 2007 at 3:46 AM. Reason: Integrated into V4.09 UniMesh package
Old 11th Apr 2007, 12:45 AM #2
kalynn06
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Wes,
Thank you so much for this. I've been wishing something like this exisited, and I can't wait to try it out! This may save me from carpal tunnel and/or early onset arthritis

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Old 11th Apr 2007, 1:01 AM #3
WesHowe
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I would appreciate any feedback on it. TiggeryPum has been using it a few days now, and it seemed to be useful.

<* Wes *>
Last edited by wes_h : 11th Apr 2007 at 1:40 AM.
Old 11th Apr 2007, 3:25 PM #4
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Sounds very useful. Does it support copying the normals? Normal copying is also done quite abit when converting items to different age groups, especially hair.
Old 11th Apr 2007, 4:57 PM #5
Mystarria
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Been testing this out all day and it's making my life so much easier. Thanks so much No problems at all with it so far. Great work!
Old 11th Apr 2007, 7:43 PM #6
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I just tested it with some quick Frankenstein job on a top and bottom and it works flawlessly - as I knew it would :D
Thank you very much for a most useful tool!

Though I see the point in having this option for normals or even uv coordinates it wouldn't always be wanted, so if you ever consider it and find the time for that, I'd rather have a separate tool...
Old 11th Apr 2007, 7:50 PM #7
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Wes... I am never surprised that your genius causes these happy break-throughs, but it never ceases to please and amaze me when you release them! You have just saved me posting a 57 step tutorial Thank you!

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Old 12th Apr 2007, 1:49 AM #8
WesHowe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowStorm
Does it support copying the normals?


It doesn't, and for good reason. That isn't to say one couldn't be made that did just the normal copies (a one-to-another/many copy, like this plugin). Or for that matter, a version could be written that copied the stuff this copies, plus normals.

The amount of work to create more such plugins is nominal. The work to document them, a little more. To support them, more yet. Trying to make plugins that copied all the different possible element combinations would be hard on both ends (gee, did I want to use the VDM, VDMN, NDC, blah-blah or so-and-so plugin)?

However, some of my best supporters and testers have commented in this thread already. So I will entertain responsible comments on this from interested parties, and will make an attempt to balance people's ideas on needs against sanity. UniMesh now has 13 plugins, counting this one. Wwe don't really want a 50-plugin UniMesh package, do we?

<* Wes *>
Old 12th Apr 2007, 2:38 AM #9
tiggerypum
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Well, I originally asked for a 'normals' one in addition also - that actually was the thing that caused me to want to ask for the shortcut tool to begin with.

Honestly, calling one with normals 'neck fix' and telling folks they can use it on the waist also is fine with me. I don't know if it would work in the middle of a garment the same way, I figure 'align normals' and just selecting the vertices afterwards is fine.

It's very very tedious to copy 3 normals for every vertice to all the others, although doing that *and* the x, y, z - which is what I did before, was twice that work. (with demon's extended manual edit) So either way, this shortcut has cut the work in half.

As for the uv, that _could_ be handy also - but I just realized that will break on the seams - where say, the front and back of the body are uvmapped to 2 diff spots - and folks would not be pleased with those results. I think that as our sim meshes have those seams all over - it might make sense to just have people fix the uvmaps by hand, instead of documenting it and saying 'but you can't use it here'

Also, I was not able to see anything in my milkshape docs about how to assign anything to a keystroke - hints Wes? I have older docs, because the milkshape built in system _does not work_ on my computer, went the rounds with Mete about it, and he could not figure out why it doesn't work, but it does not.

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Old 12th Apr 2007, 2:56 AM #10
WesHowe
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I am ahead of you. Reread the first post, below my signature. I am so cool!

Seriously, I can go ahead and answer some questions on that topic, too, as needed. It's not like I usually get some huge hourly rate for consulting. Personally, I use Ctrl-B for the BoneTool, and I stole F1 from something else and tested it on the new entry I made, msTS2VDM (which is the plugin filename, less extension).

<* Wes *>
Old 12th Apr 2007, 6:46 AM #11
tiggerypum
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Oooh, Wes, thank you. Save my mouse hand! :D

"Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." - Ronald E. Osborn

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Old 14th Apr 2007, 4:48 AM #12
WesHowe
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OK, after a certain amount of PMs (NOT PMS!) and thought, I have added a second plugin to the package that copies the normals. Again mapped to a key, you make a mouse selection. tap on two keys, and move to the next vertex pair.

There is also some hints in teh posting about mapping commands to keystrokes in MilkShape.

<* Wes *>
Old 14th Apr 2007, 9:40 PM #13
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Ohhhh! See, now that I get what it does (after hearing Tig's description, then rereading yours several times), I'm totally excited. I'm doing an annoying frankenstein today and this will be sooooooo handy.

You're amazing, Wes. Thank you so incredibly much for this, Unimesh, and everything - we could not do the things we do without your efforts, and your contribution of the tools to make better and better meshes is -greatly- appreciated.

Edit, once I'd actually tried it... There's no gaping in delighted shock smiley! I can now do what would have taken me a good several minutes with ONE KEYSTROKE.

Wes, you're a genius!

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Last edited by HystericalParoxysm : 14th Apr 2007 at 9:52 PM.
Old 15th Apr 2007, 9:08 AM #14
Dr Pixel
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Wes, this is a great addition to our editing tools!

I have given it some tests and found no problems at all - it's really a timesaver. And a finger-saver

BTW, I also tested it with a non-boned object mesh - works fine for that too.
Old 15th Apr 2007, 8:37 PM #15
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ooooOOoo... Very nice! maybe I won't mash so many meshes now! :D
Old 16th Apr 2007, 1:54 AM #16
WesHowe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Pixel
BTW, I also tested it with a non-boned object mesh - works fine for that too.


Thanks. You know, I didn't think about that when I wrote it. But I guess I didn't think there was a special need because the data passed from MilkShape to the plugin on a non-boned mesh looks just like a jointed one except it has zero bones, of course, and all the bone assignments are -1 (unassigned) and skin weights are zero. So the bone copying goes on, except it is just copying empty values. This is easier than having to have an extra set of plugins, not only for the users, but also for the poor plugin-writer!

<* Wes *>
Old 16th Apr 2007, 1:58 AM #17
Dr Pixel
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Has anyone managed to get the keyboard shortcuts to work?

I have edited the .ini file, but am having no luck.

I can add/remove keypresses for everything else, including the UniMesh Bone Tool, and Extended manual edit - but not for these new plugins.

Also for some reason, they do not show up in the Edit Shortcuts tool in MilkShape - again, everything else does show up there, and I can successfully add and remove shortcuts using that tool also...

The plugins work perfectly, and they do show on the menu - but my added shortcuts do not show on the menu, and they do not work when pressed.

Any ideas?
Old 16th Apr 2007, 2:15 AM #18
WesHowe
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I wrote a mini-tutorial on this, which is now in the tutorials section. See what happens when you don't show up for two whole days!

MilkShape itself has no built-in method to add new plugins without using an editor (Mete has the older one preprogrammed into the shortcut editor). And in 1.8.0, the shortcuts.ini file location (and log and .cfg files) changed to be in the User/Application Data section, which by default is hidden in Windows Explorer.

I do have these mapped here at Rancho Como, the vertex data merge to "c" and the normal one to "n". To do so requires adding two entries in the shortcuts.ini file, one for msTS2VDM and the other for msTS2NDM. Go to the meshing tutorials (non-sticky) forum, read the writeup, and I will answer any remaining questions you have there.

<* Wes *>
Old 16th Apr 2007, 2:44 AM #19
Dr Pixel
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Thanks, Wes - it was my fault - I was forgetting to put in the "=" after the plug-in names...

Works perfectly now.
Old 13th May 2007, 7:23 AM #20
WesHowe
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I have added these plugins to the UniMesh V4.09 update package I recently posted.

<* Wes *>
Old 11th Jul 2007, 8:25 PM DefaultMilkshape Unimesh Bone tool problems! #21
melanise
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i'm having problems with using the Unimesh Bone tool in Milkshape, upon every time i use Milkshape i can only ever use it once or skim through the different vertices once and it wipes me clean out of milkshape.... this is becoming very annoying i need to solve this i am currently still using version 1.7.10 i've never had this problem before only recently started ... wes_h braught a few things forward, i am not importing two bones in at the same time, i've tried clearing any textures i have attached to my mesh in Milkshape but still the problem persists
Old 11th Jul 2007, 9:58 PM #22
WesHowe
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I am about out of ideas.
We have tried the mesa dll's which usually fixes this.
1.7.10 worked fine.
Some of the obvious things, like long texture names, I have suggested seem not to have helped.
She has checked to make sure she doesn't have two sets of bones.
So, someone may remember something I have neglected to list.
Also, Melanise, you can use the 'extended manual editor' that is posted here at MTS2 to edit the bones.
<* Wes *>

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Old 12th Jul 2007, 1:48 AM #23
melanise
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is it quite easy to use ? actually i've seen that on my milkshape but not the extended version ... it looks quite complicated all those numbers lol dunno where to begin...
Last edited by melanise : 12th Jul 2007 at 11:15 AM.
Old 21st Jul 2007, 3:48 PM #24
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Wow I am so lame... I had no idea what these new plugins even did, I guess when you get used to a certain process it isn't such a chore anymore, but not having to manually copy all that vert info every time I run a model thru Poser will be wonderful...

You rock, Wes, thanks as always!

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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 12:38 AM #25
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With the new animation plugins, I think there are 19 Sims2 plugins total. Plus a few more that I wrote for other stuff that never panned out (The Movies, truSpace and I forget what else).

You, of all modders, should hunt down Marvine's new Dance animation and object, and try it out. And think what it could look like in a DD size.

<* Wes *>

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