Art of Illusion experimental derivative - Features

Additional features/changes in AoI_ED:

Version 20041129:

  • Support for Quicktime movies reenabled.

Version 20041115:

  • Customizable menu shortcuts. The last AOI_ED already allowed to customize menus. Now you can use "Edit Menu" in the "Edit" menu to customize shortcuts as well. The appearing dialog shows a list of all possible menu items on the left and a tree view of the current main menu on the right. Select one item of the tree (not the list!) and click in the "shortcutField" text field. If the item already has a shortcut, it is shown below this field.
    Now you can type the new shortcut. It must be a key typed either with control or with shift and control key as each shortcut in AOI.
    If this shortcut is already in use by another menu item, this is shown below the text field. In this case you can remove this other shortcut with the "removeOtherShortcut" button.
    To remove the shortcut, press the "Delete" or "Backspace" key. If you want to reset the shortcut to the default setting, check the "defaultShortcutEntry" checkbox.
  • Live Renderer. One or more views of the main window can be configured to show a rendered image of the current scene. Simply select a view (preferably the perspective) and check "Live Rendering" in the "Display Mode" submenu of the "Scene" menu.
    It may need a while before the image is rendered and presented (you shouldn't use this for complex scenes), If you change the scene, the image vanishes, is rerendered in the background and presented again.
    You can then change the environment for the live renderer with the "Scene"->"Set LiveRender Environment" menu item. To reset it to the scene environment use "Reset LiveRender Environment". The environment settings are individual for each view.
    To choose the renderer for live rendering, use the "Preferences" dialog. After changing this setting, deactivate and reactivate the live renderer so the setting can take effect.
    At the moment it isn't possible to further configure the behaviour of the live renderer.
    The object editing dialogs for light sources now have an "Apply"-button to make use of this renderer. Unfortunately "Cancel" does not work as desired after "Apply" was used.
  • Iterative Animation Scripts (probably there is a professional term for this feature, but I do not know it).
    This animation method allows to describe the state of an object or a group of objects by the state a little moment earlier (or later sometimes). So an animation is created going step by step (at the moment: frame by frame) forward in time.
    First you have to create/edit an "IterAnimation Script" (in the "Animation" menu) in the "samples" directory is a "IterTemplate.txt" file and two examples as .aoi files and the scripts as text.
    After creating the script you have to set the initial state, then you can change the time and the objects controlled by the script will move accordingly.
    An IterAnimation script consists of methods to create the initial state (this may be any Serializable object) , to go from one state to the next, to apply the current state to the scene and some methods to inform about the capabilities of the script. The initial state can be any Serializable object (e.g. HashMap, Vector from java.util package and now also Vec2, Vec3, Mat4 from artofillusion.math package).
    At the moment only one script can be set in a scene. The script is stored in the .aoi file. Original AOI ignores this additional information.
  • Changes from 1.6ea1 up to 1.9 incorporated.

Version 20030804:

  • Four views for mesh editing. The editing windows for triangle and spline meshes, curves and tubes now have three additional menu entries in the "view" menu: "One View" - switch between one view and four views as in the main window. "Autosync dragging" - during dragging something AOI shows some kind of gray sketch of the final shape of the mesh. If "Autosync dragging" is checked, you will see this in all four view, otherwise only in the active one. "Set for all Views" - Some settings of the current view (display mode, what to show and coordinate system) are transferred to all views of the editor window.
  • Changes from 1.5ea1 up to 1.6ea1 incorporated.

Version 20030331:

  • "Pinned" UV-Mapping. A (hopefully) simpler method to use UV-mapping. Select a few points in the UV-view (left view), set them as pinned (checkbox bottom left). Move them to the desired position. Select all vertices you want to move accordingly and click "moveVertices". To experiment with some options for the motion method click "moveOptions".
  • Customizable menus. Select "Edit Menu" in the "Edit" menu. The appearing dialog shows a list of all possible menu items on the left and a tree view of the current main menu on the right. To move menu items simply drag them around as e. g. in the object list. To remove press DEL or backspace, to add new elements select them from the list on the left and click "--->". To change the label, enter text in the "Item name" text field. If this field is empty, the default label (depending on the language) is used. For some items which change their label programmatically (e.g. "Undo"/"Redo") the text field does not work.
    The menu structure is saved in the file "" in the ".aoimenus" directory at the same location as the ".aoiprefs" file. If you delete or rename the menu file, the default menu will be used again.
  • Changes from 1.4beta up to 1.5ea1 incorporated.

Version 20030209:

  • Changes from 1.4ea2 to 1.4beta incorporated
  • Better positioning of tool created objects. Objects created by the extrude, lathe or skin tool are now placed at the same (or nearly the same) position as the objects they were created from.
  • Creating a combined trimesh. If multiple objects are selected and "Convert to Triangle Mesh" is used, a new trimesh containing the geometry of all selected objects is created. Skeletons, texture settings and smoothing method are lost.

  • This is different from a boolean union because it does not modify the meshes in any way.
  • Create vertex tool. The triangle mesh editor has a new tool. At the moment it shows the "create sphere" icon. It allows to move a single vertex (for convenience), to create free vertices (not attached to a face) and to subdivide edges or faces. Double clicking on the icon allows to configure which of these operations should be performed.
  • Create Face. A new menu item was added in trimesh editor. Select exactly three vertices and use the menu item to create a new face.
  • Illegal surface warning. Using the delete command in the trimesh editor in original AOI sometimes gave the error, that this would result in an illegal surface. This is now a warning. If you select "Ok" here, the deletion will be done anyway. Be careful: This may lead to problems, even program crashes, but surprisingly seldom.

Version 20030117:

  • Creating quicktime files works again.
  • The texture view in the UV mapping editor can be moved and scaled with right mouse button and control key. I recommend to set the resolution to "low" when using this feature because the texture must be rerendered for each motion.
  • The animation score can be moved and scaled with right mouse button and control key. Because original AOI uses the shift key for scaling here, the user interface might be a bit confusing here. Suggestions?

  • This was already implemented in ED_20021231, but I forgot to mention.
  • Wireframe diplay mode is a bit faster now by using a dirty trick: If a drawn line is very short (one or two pixels) it is nearly invisible, so the program draws only one third of these lines really.
  • Changes from original AoI 1.4ea1 to 1.4ea2 were incorporated.
  • File format compatibility. As long as no HDR-images are added to the scene and no pose track is set to relative mode, AOI_ED produces files which can be read by AoI 1.3.

Version 20021231:

  • Additional fields in ScaleShiftModule. The fields allow to set 2 input and desired output values, the scale and shift values are automatically set accordingly. Unfortunately the fields are not saved in file, this would change the file format.
  • Copy & paste support in procedural editors.
  • Mark dirty preview. If a preview window is currently not up to date ("dirty") it draws a thin red border.
  • "Render immediately" menu option. This allows to skip the "Rendering options" dialog and uses the previous settings.
  • Fixed a bug in my own BMPEncoder. Sometimes width and height of the image are not yet available when BMPEncoder asks for it. If this happens, the encoder waits 600 ms before retrying to get the size.
  • Combined scale & move tool in main scene. The scale tool now also allows to move around an object if you drag the object itself instead of the handles. This was already implemented in aoi_ed_20021216, but I forgot to mention.
  • The synchronization between main scene and object editor can be disabled now by a checkbox in the application preferences.
  • Changes from original aoi 1.3 to 1.4ea were incorporated.

  • WARNING: Applying custom distortion tracks on actors. This is more a bug than a feature, it does not work properly and may even corrupt the data files. I only mention it to prevent anyone from accidental use.
  • Creating quicktime files does not work because I have no JMF at the moment. To fix this, you can either replace the artofillusion/image/ by the same file of the original version or wait about one week, then I will fix this.

Version 20021217:

  • Synchronized mesh editing now works for moving bones, but it still doesn't work with gestures in the edit actor window.
  • UV mapping works now.

Version 20021216:

  • Arbitrary magnification factor for the views. In AoI you can only select the magnification factor from a dropdown list. AoI_ED has a text field instead to enter arbitrary values.  You can also use control+right mouse button (control+meta+mouse button for Mac users) to change the magnification if the view is set to parallel projection mode. For perspective projection the zoom works as usual.
  • Rotate scene view around center of selection. In AoI rotating the view always rotates around origin (0, 0, 0). AoI_ED rotates around the center of current selection if any.
  • Export rendered images in BMP format.
  • Mesh editing synchronized with main scene (buggy). Moving, deleting and nearly all other operations on meshesor curves in the mesh editor are immediately reflected in the main scene (except moving bones currently). I don't know if this is a really good idea, but it is worth testing. You can also open multiple mesh editors on the same mesh, changes in one of them are shown in the others. Be careful: using undo or cancel may produce unwanted results.
  • Nonmodal bone editor. This means you can keep the bone editor open, select another bone in the mesh editor and move it around, all changes are shown in the bone editor window.

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© Michael Butscher, last modified 2004-11-29. (Trademarks, even if not marked as such, are property of their respective owners)