JeremyR
Hey Peter,

Trying our the instance manager. Would be good to be able to animate the phase and frequency attributes for motion graphics capabilities. I tried looking for a noise texture in the node editor somewhere but couldn't find one.

Also if the manager window closes how do I connect the new window to an existing setup?

Trying to figure out ways to align/orient objects to texture maps or input curves. for example to build a city with building facades parallel to streets??

thanks
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pshipkov
You can animate these attributes. The UI represents attribute on SOuP nodes. You just need to find them, which can be tricky. :P
But good point. Will add it to my to do list. Easy addition.

To initialize the instanceManager to previously created nodal network attached to existing base object: select the base object and click on the "pin" button in the upper right corner of the instanceManager UI.

It will be difficult to do this kind of alignment with the instance manager.
I have some a "city generator" draft lingering around here.
The "rules of engagement" are different enough between generic instance manager and city generator, so i figured separate solution is the way to go, instead of cramming more functionality into the instman.
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JeremyR
Quote "You can animate these attributes. The UI represents attribute on SOuP nodes. You just need to find them, which can be tricky. :P
But good point. Will add it to my to do list. Easy addition."

I think I have found them are they the arrayExpression nodes? I guess its a matter of using a * $TIME or $FF variable if there is one. But yeah keyframing them or adding a simple time expression in the text field would be good, too hard for some otherwise.


Quote "To initialize the instanceManager to previously created nodal network attached to existing base object: select the base object and click on the "pin" button in the upper right corner of the instanceManager UI."

Thought I did that in the first place but got it now, thanks.

Quote "It will be difficult to do this kind of alignment with the instance manager.
I have some a "city generator" draft lingering around here.
The "rules of engagement" are different enough between generic instance manager and city generator, so i figured separate solution is the way to go, instead of cramming more functionality into the instman."

Okay fair call. The instman actually works really well for a city generator if you dont mind non-alignment. Heres a quick and dirty setup, should add some trees and parks and the river would start to look pretty smart.



Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 4.51.05 PM.png
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pshipkov
Nice.


When it comes to cities i like how this application generates the roads network and how the buildings are based on that.
The actual buildings generator there is basic and does not hold up, but the roads is good.
We can do that using SOuP nodes, but without proper interface and automation it will be useless in reality.
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JeremyR
Looks promising. I think if you can do that then you could also dress the streets with vehicles facing in the right direction based on curves, rows of trees, people etc. A complete city builder!
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pshipkov
Yep.
I have big plans for this stuff :)
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JeremyR
That was fun!
I can see a few twin towers in there and overlapping but this is a great tool, easy to use. 

InstaMan_image2.jpg 
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pshipkov
Hey is this photo or a rendered image ?
;)
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JeremyR
You're too kind :)
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JeremyR
CityScape2.jpg
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pshipkov
Pretty cool.
Can you share the scene ?
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JeremyR
https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/aZEy9opDLk

One off render from Arnold.
Post effects - photoshop - tree highlights, road colorization, some cloud detail
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JeremyR
Adding some more to this thread.

Random rotation of buildings for example doesn't quite fit the bill. It would be good if there was an option to randomly rotate buildings but at 90 degrees increments only.
The only solution for this is to create 2 instances of the same building rotated which isnt too bad I guess.

Also, is it possible to somehow make each layer aware of the other layers scattered points? This is so you can adjust the overall min point distance so that no buildings overlap on all the layers.
This is fine when dealing with organic instances but you can see the problem when designing a city, most town planners would be fired on the spot 😉

Better yet, because each instance may have a random scale, could we have something that takes the bounding volume of each instance into consideration? Kinda like how PaintFX adds collisions now to objects.

Also.......where can I change the orientation so that my instances can align to world up axis and not mesh normal? Can this be an option in instaman also.
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pshipkov
Answering your questions in order:

A reasonably easy workaround is to insert a transformGeometry or cluster node and rotate a single building on the DG before you plug-it into the instance manager layers.

Take a look at occlusion and other tabs on the screen left side of the UI - they handle layer interdependencies. But even they will probably fall short of what you expect with city like structure.
What you can do is insert a resolve node - it will make sure no points overlap. That node can also map radius per point, so you can get correspondance between building size and the resolved point cloud positions.
I am going to add this as a RFE to the instance manager - should be relatively easy to integrate the resolve node into the system.

There is a global orientation modifier section i believe - use that.
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