Hello everyone,

I want to share with you the first beta of HardMesh 2.5, currently only available for maya 2019 on windows. Download it here.

Remember that in order to use it, a valid license is required. If you need a 30days key please contact me.

It's the very first beta after a big rewrite of a lot of stuff, and despite the fact that is a minor release, opening scenes made with previous versions will most likely give you errors.

Also, a lot of things still need to be finished and there are minor bugs, but I thought it would be nice to start to make it available so I can have feedback from whoever is interested to try it.

Below a list, for now without images (will edit the post soon) with the main changes.

# What's new in HardMesh 2.5 (Beta)

At the core of this release there is a substantial rewrite of the way we build and interact with the Maya nodes.
This change, will let the new OperatorsStack have a bigger and more flexible role in your hard surface modeling needs.
The idea behind this core change, is that the modeling process can benefit from an operators-stack workflow for more than just boolean operations.

## Multiple Operator Branches

The core workflow rewrite allows you to have the same input mesh to be part of one or more operator branches.
The branches can be navigated as multiple stacks and will allow you to have less input geometries, all connected to different operators.
Thanks to the new Operators Window managing complex and nested branches will be very easy.

## Extensible Operators

This release extends the concept of HardMesh operators to almost any group of maya nodes properly generated from HardMesh.
This means that on top of the standard "Smooth Booleans" you will start to see more and more operators that will quickly build for you a node network exposed as single step in the stack.

The Operators you can use now are:

- Smooth Boolean: The original HardMesh boolean
- Panel Boolean: A special combination of nodes that let you have a panel boolean effect composed by two boolean operations
- new operators..coming soon

## Panel Boolean Operator

Thanks to many user feedback, in one click this operator will create an operator composed of two booleans.
This will let you create panel effects that can move outwards or inwards from the original surface, all easily managable from the parameters editor.

## Split Node

The split node let you to cut a mesh from one or more curves on the mesh.
Use the "project curve on mesh" maya command to generate curves on mesh to try it.
The splitted borders are procedually exposed as outputs that can be used as inputs of other nodes.

This node, is not part of the "Operators Framework" and will not be visible in the "Operators Window".
Is possible that this node will be exposed also as Operator in future updates.

## Blend Node

The blend node gives you a procedural way to blend two edge loops with a non matching vertex count.
This is very similar to what happens in the blend area of a "Smooth Boolean" and can be used in combination of the split node to create interesting hard-surface details.

This node, is not part of the "Operators Framework" and will not be visible in the "Operators Window".
Is possible that this node will be exposed also as Operator in future updates.

## Improved Operators Window

The new Operators Window has been re-written to enhance the user experience.
The Operators can now display the input and outputs directly in the tree view, letting you select them to perform quickly any new operation.
Thanks to the branches support, you will be able to create and manage operator chains with a greater freedom.

## New Parameters Editor

The parameters editor, that is just below the operators stack has been rewritten to be even more compact and flexible.
You will be able to detach it from the operator window and place it somewhere else in the Maya window, or hide it with a simple double click on the window splitter.
The new parameters editor will display all the important options of any selected operator, saving you the time to go to look for these attributes in the attributes editor and letting you focus on the creative process.

## Smarter Scene Clean

Once the HardMesh modeling is finished, a new "Bake Results" window will let you have greater control on how the final result meshes should be handled, what should happen to the inputs and where this data should be grouped for you.

## Preferred Operators (NOT READY)

Since we will have progressively more and more operators, the top part of the Operators Window has become customizable.
By selecting the operators you prefer to have visible there, you will have a quick access to your favorite commands.

## Friendly Scripting

With the easy to use python "HardMesh commands" you will be able to call any HardMesh functionality directly from your python scripts.
Better documentation will follow.

# Known Limitations and in development

- When selecting an element involving operators from the scene, the UI update can be slow.
I'm looking into a c++ implementation or a different approach to keep it flexible without performance loss.
- The split node can't cut self-intersecting curves or curves that cut another cut curve
- The blend node currently can't blend partial edge loops
- The creation option for the blend node "Search for procedural edges" is not working yet.
- Operator visibility is not inherited from preview operator
- The parameters editor float slider can't exceed the limits
- The icon part of the Operators Window is not yet customizable
- The geo bias parameter of the Split Node can lead to crash
- The Split node is missing un updated AE Template
- The Blend node AE template is not finished

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Christmas came early....
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Red line:  I'm having issues with the scale of the window. There are icons that I can't see or get cropped off it does not matter how big or small I make the window it seems to persist. 

Blue line: I cant make the offset bigger than one for some reason. 


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Hi Markel,

thank you for trying it out!

Red lines:

Those part looks with the right icons

Red box:

I didn't replace those icons yet, and the text is a placeholder 🙂

Blue Line:

you are absolutely right, that is the issue "The parameters editor float slider can't exceed the limits"
I need to improve it a little to avoid that annoying thing.

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is there another link ?
also for bugs or suggestions do we report everything here ? 
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I still hope to see HardMesh bevel as stand-alone node without a need to perform boolean to apply it.

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Link updated!
Br0ken wrote:


I still hope to see HardMesh bevel as stand-alone node without a need to perform boolean to apply it.

Yes that would be quite cool, and maybe will happen in the future 😉
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