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More 3D: 3D-Designer | Puppy Ray GPU | Landscapes | Elevation Maps
IntroductionYes indeed, in fact:
- We've had 3D features for quite a while. 3D Perspective Filter, Spherize, and then 3D Designer, Puppy Ray and more.
- We've also had a particle system and more years the brushes have 'drawn' into 3D paths. With self shading (ambient occlusion).
- And we now also do 3D, voxel based, volumetric clouds that cast shadows on other clouds. The new Sky system - in Howler 2023.
We also added 3D OBJ files of trees a few years prior.
There's of course some 'real' 3D too, the 3D-Designer
and the amazingly realistically renderer, Puppy Ray, our GPU-based Path-Tracing renderer.
What's Next, you ask?
Now we're expanding it into more use cases for 3D coming back into Howler. If you have your own 3D models, ready in .OBJ file format, keep on reading.
This was enabled also with an entirely new API. If you're a game developer or visual programmer, this might interest you.The current system wasn't using the newer, better graphics. It's usable, but much better, faster is coming.
The shapes have to be represented as triangles. (OBJ format supports many other forms).
We have started to further develop that tool for use with other 3D objects and to more easily create custom brushes and animated brushes with it.
As of build 88 we are loading some quads too.
The tool can be used to load a variety (not all types) of 3D content from a Wavefront .obj file. It can then be viewed from various angles and rendered. The rendering can then be used in various ways. If there was already a picture in the frame, the 3D obecjt is rendered over it, creating a nice composition of the two.
The trees are found in Howler's or Artist's installation folder, in a subfolder named 'Geometry'. There's a Foliage subfolder in it, and a Test subfolder. You can add folders and obj files as you wish.
In future development we aim to make it easy to turn the rendered image of the 3D shape into a custom brush, and possible a series of frames to make them into an animated brush.
Mid February 2023: Some good Progress!
We had a recent build #87 and more coming.
Z2 spacesuit from NASA website download
A lot better now (mid September 2023) - PBR - Physics Based Rendering is nearly completed
Caveats: Known LimitationsInitially, we're using an old'ish graphics pipeline that dates to quite a number of years back and was not made for anything but the trees we provide. It's a scanline renderer, we have better, just haven't released it yet. It needs time and work for integration.
The renderer is limited to rendering triangles, so the OBJ parser also only did that, initially. Quads and other shapes were not showing. There were also numerous instances where polygons went missing as a result of this. And there are other issues we found.
A lot has been accomplished in short few weeks.
Here are a few tips and tricks:
- If you have a 3D model in OBJ format, consider triangulating it. Save as a new file. Don't loose the original, it might soon also work as is.
- You can use Blender to triangulate it, or Lightwave or other tools.
- The file should have names without spaces, especially:
- the material file (*.mtl)
- the image files that are referenced by the material file
- We also recommend not using spaces in the part names.
- Quads are not displayed yet. We're working on it. If you see missing polygons ("holes") try a triangulated version
- If you see ho shading, such as it's all black or single ambient color, probably the part or filenames have spaces and can't be loaded. Rename and edit the content in the obj file accordingly so it can find these resources as listed.
More features are being added. Stay tune.
Buy PD Howler 2023 or betterReady to get your copy? PD Howler is available in a few places.
#1 - Support the Artist Programmer:
https://pdhowler.com - from the developer directly (Dan Ritchie). Pay via Paypal. Get a download link within 1-2 days (manual setup)
#2 - Our online store (BMTmicro)
https://www.thebest3d.com/sales - we use the secure online service from BMTmicro. Use credit cards, Paypal, or many other options. Instant delivery of download links via automated email in most cases (unless you chose a special payment method such as by check).
You can also find PD Howler on Steam at steampowered.com but no guarantees that it's updated at the same pace.
We also occasionally release an updated version on daz3d.com - if you have Dazbucks waiting to be spent, check with Daz3D.
The easiest and fastest is with option #2 - BMTmicro
Recently added: a series of video tutorials and presentations that show the progress being made and the possibilities offered:
Learn more about the where, what and why of the OBJ Rendering feature here:
https://youtube.com/pdhowler >>> Play List on 3D with Dogwaffle
Dogwaffle does 3D - part 4 - NASA spacesuit Z2 with Lightwave Triangulation
Dogwaffle does 3D - part 3 - Amapi 3D Models and Blender triangulation
Dogwaffle does 3D - part 2 - NASA Models
Dogwaffle does 3D - part 1 - it began with trees (included)3D in Project Dogwaffle's PD Howler